At the Hot Gates: An Account of the Battle of Thermopylae

At the Hot Gates: An Account of the Battle of Thermopylae

by Donald Samson



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936367283
Publisher: Association of Waldorf Schools of North America Publications
Publication date: 09/15/2012
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About the Author

Donald Samson grew up in the mega-urban environment of Los Angeles at a time when the smog was thick and the freeways were flinging their tentacles throughout the city. After expanding his horizons through study at UC Santa Barbara, he sought fresh air and adventure. He set off for a dozen years of travel, living as an expat first in Greece, then for a long stretch in Germany, and finally landing in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland. Upon returning to the States, he learned the art of teaching children, and was a Waldorf class teacher for nineteen years. It was during this time that he developed his love for storytelling. His first books owe their origin to stories he told to one of his classes. It was his students' persistent requests (badgering, really) to read the stories he had told that led him to write them down. He currently lives in western Colorado working as the educational director of a public charter Waldorf school.

Read an Excerpt

The bushes to my left shook violently and I whirled around to meet the intruder. I clutched my spear in both hands and readied it at eyelevel. I steeled myself to drive the point right into his teeth. My full attention was in front of me, so I was taken by surprise when a pair of massive arms suddenly enfolded me from behind in a bear hug. With my arms pinned to my sides, I could only kick with my legs, but it did little good. I was lifted off the ground. I bent my neck to try to bite his arms, but I couldn't reach. Without loosening his vise grip, he shoved my head hard to the left, and the muscles in my neck screamed in protest. Then I felt the cold metal of the man's helmet pressed against my cheek.
“Get quiet, or I'll break your neck,” he growled into my ear.
It was a Spartan voice, so I knew he meant it. I stopped kicking and struggling.
“Now drop the spear,” he commanded.
With my arms pinned, my makeshift spear was dangling from my fingertips. I let it drop.
“Real easy now,” he said. I thought he was going to let me go. I was ready, the moment my feet touched the ground, to dash through the thicket and escape. Perhaps he sensed my muscles tensing. Whatever the reason, he smashed me to the ground on my face. I was stunned from the blow. Then I felt his knee in my back, pressing the air out of my lungs.
“Stay put!” he ordered.
He roughly grabbed my arms and pulled them behind me. I wondered for a brief moment if he were about to drive his sword between my shoulder blades.
“Thanatos!” I prayed silently. “O, Death, come thou quickly that I make no noise to shame me.” But instead of thrusting his sword into my back, he dragged me to my feet by my long hair and held on firmly. I struggled again and only now noticed that when he had thrown me to the ground, he had bound my hands behind me.

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