A to Z Blogging Challenge - L is for Laelaps

We're almost to the halfway point of this year's A to Z Challenge ! To see more participants, check out the A to Z blog and join in the fun.

Here at Untethered Realms, we're taking on the Challenge as a group. Each day, one of us will be sharing with you a fantastical creature that may be from one of our books, a favorite movie, or something we just came up with as entertainment.

Today we have...

L is for Laelaps

Source: Wikimedia Commons

When my dog Clancy heard I wrote about a magical cat for my "C" post here he was outraged and demanded equal treatment for his kind. Luckily for me there is a magical dog in Greek mythology called Laelaps. 

Laelaps was given to Europa of Krete by the god Zeus. The dog was famous for being destined to always catch his prey. He was so fast he was known as the "storm wind." 

Eventually Laelaps found himself with Kephalos of Athens, who sent him to catch the Teumassian Fox. The fox was wreaking havoc around Athens but, unfortunately for Laelaps, he was destined to never be caught. So the dog who always caught his prey being sent after the fox who could never be caught created a paradox. 

Canis Major & Minor (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
In response, Zeus intervened and placed the two canines in the heavens as the constellations Canis Major and Minor. Now Laelaps is destined to chase the fox across the night sky for all eternity. 


  1. Very cool gif -- the only constellations I'm ever able to pick out are the dippers. I love the idea of the eternal chase in the heavens.

  2. @Nicki, I can't ever pick any out either, but now I want to try to find these. :)

  3. I didn't know the story behind it! I wish I could see how the ancients managed to find shapes in the constellations. LOL
    I hope your dog has quit grumbling now. :)

  4. The poor dog is always running-I hope he stops for a drink.

  5. Come on over. I'll teach you the summer sky at least :) Great story behind the constellations.

  6. We mere mortal humans love paradoxes and the unexplained. Legends about the constellations, we like to learn about them, too.

    Legends are our stories of old.

  7. @River, he will find another reason to grumble soon enough. :D

    @Birgit, I hope so LOL.

    @Mary, I would love that!

    @DG, agree 100%.

  8. I'm with Clancy, he deserves equal time. Very interesting story about Laelaps, so Clancy should be happy :)

  9. @D, isn't it?

    @Gwen, he says it's still not enough. ;)

  10. Poor dog, always on the run. He deserves a nap!

  11. Magical. This is the type of story I like, a mythological dog. Laelaps is one for my memory bank.

  12. oh wow! i didn't know about this greek myth. so cool. i love the constellation gif.

  13. My brain just caught a mythology high! That is so very cool!

    And I hope your doggie is now well pacified :-)

  14. That's interesting. I would have never found those constellations.

  15. Which took me back to one of the Kipling tales I grew up with. 'Run dog dingo, yellow dog dingo... And he ran - because he had to'.
    Cats have a much more relaxed (mostly) attitude.
    I hope Clancy feels better.

  16. Oh these poor laelaps chasing foxes across the night sky for eternity. Gulp! Cool idea to do the challenge as a group.

  17. I was just going to ask if they'll run and chase forever!

  18. Sounds like a version of hell, to be destined to chase or be chased for eternity, neither willing to relinquish their claim to "never".
    Gail visiting for AtoZ

  19. A dog chasing and a fox gets a chance to outwit by one step for all eternity. I don't know Gail M. Baugniet, to me it sounds like a version of doggie heaven. - Erin Penn (a-to-z participant at ErinPenn.blogspot.com)

  20. What a charming and fun story, Julie.

    I love the thought of the CHASE in the heavens for eternity!

  21. @Christine, he really does, poor pooch!

    @Bob, I'm so glad you liked it!

    @djinnia, I didn't know about it either until I stumbled upon it. So glad you enjoyed it!

    @Angela, he is for the day at least LOL.

    @Nana, I know, I am hopeless with that.

    @Elephant, how fun, I've never heard that tale.

    @Ellie, I do too!

    @Denise, it is fun to do it as a group, we're really enjoying it. :)

    @Alex, got your answer! :D

    @Gail, I know, I kind of think the dog got a raw deal.

    @Erin, well that's a good point too! Thanks for coming by, great to meet you!

    @Michael, glad you enjoyed it!

  22. Interesting. I've taught Greek lit and the more I learn about the Golden age in Athens the more I think that Greeks were completely creative and wild!


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