The students in Mr. Aubry’s Honors Ancient History and Literature recently finished reading “The Histories” by the famous Herodotus. In the book, Herodotus recounts the battle of Thermopylae which pitted the Greeks (most famously the Spartans) against the powerful Persians. Mr. Aubry’s students recently reenacted the battle and wrote a summary of it, copying the unique style of Herodotus. Below is one students excellent recap of the battle and its surprising ending. Enjoy.
The Battle of Thermodgeball
Retold by Brooke Carver
I hereby tell you the account of the Battle of Thermodgeball, so that all may know of its existence without being forgotten in time, that each side would not be without their glory, but also that you may know why each side fought.
This, then, is the story of the Persians and the Spartans and their war against each other. The following is a list of Mr. Aubry’s best pupils from oldest to youngest: Will, Maddie, Brooke (she does not reoccur in this story for she is of little use in battle), Adam, Chase, Rebecca, Hunter, and Anna. All the days of the year Mr. Aubry, the teacher of a smart and powerful group, would have group discussions over edifying topics. Well, these discussions would usually go well without much controversy, but on one occasion Hunter disagreed with Mr. Aubry. Adam, a fellow student, agreed with Hunter, but all else agreed with Mr. Aubry. They all continued to debate over the topic. Beliefs were still unchanged and people were fuming. Chase screeched, “FIGHT TILL THE DEATH!” Mr. Aubry, standing at his podium, turned to Hunter, smiled, nodded, and said, “Yeah.” The battle would begin. Mr. Aubry decided on calling his army the Persians. Hunter decided on the Spartans.
Mr. Aubry decided to gather the lower class as well because of his affection for James. This upped his army to eleven total soldiers. The Persians and Spartans were still fuming with anger from the discussion. Mr. Aubry thought up a plan.The best way of surprising them with war would be dodgeball. Hopefully the Spartans would be tricked. Mr. Aubry was very proud of his army and was sure he was going to win. The following is a list of all the people in the battle and which side they were on. On the Persian side was Mr. Aubry, Will, Maddie, Chase, Rebecca, Anna, Luke, James, Kyle, Grayson, Stuart, and Kyle V. On the Spartan side was Adam and Hunter.
Stuart, a part time student, was waiting for his mother after a battle meeting. Hunter spoke harshly to the young lad, “For what purpose are you here? What are you trying to accomplish? Answer or your throat will be cut.” Stuart obeyed Mr. Aubry but was not taught by him as the others were so he feared his life now more than Mr. Aubry’s wrath. He immediately surrendered to Hunter and told all of Mr. Aubry’s secrets and plans.
“Do not breathe a word of this to anyone. If it so happens to reach Mr. Aubry, then not only will you suffer, but so will your fellow soldiers.” While Hunter said these last words, Stuart’s mother arrived. He sought this as a perfect distraction from God, and left swiftly. Stuart ran for his life to the car.
After Hunter gathered the information he returned to Adam. Adam was in disbelief by this news for they had not many on their side (he expected the Persian army to come in a few days which gave him no time at all to gather an army), but the information he was given did give them an advantage. Adam sent Hunter away to gather as many dodgeballs as he could.
The Persian army arrived at the gym of New Covenantry. The two Spartans readied themselves to face the Persians. “Adam,” Hunter spoke, “I am ready to attack these Persians. I will fight till the death. If you kill their leader, it will be great for you; and if he kills you, your death is only half as bad as it might otherwise have been. Just kidding. Adam, you play this game almost everyday. You know how to dodge these things. You can jump like four feet above the ground. Let’s do this thing.”
Shortly afterward the battle began.The Spartans hid in a cavern with a passageway leading up to it. The Persians stood directly parallel to the Spartans. Chase, Maddie, and Anna stood in front with their weak cardboard shields. As Mr. Aubry watched his army charge at the Spartan passageway, he laughed at the poor students who chose to go against his knowledge. It was eleven soldiers against two.
Although the Spartans were outnumbered, they were more advanced in fighting technique as well as in equipment. Their shields were made of plastic or harder cardboard. Plus, Hunter had gathered most of the dodgeballs. The Persians weren’t left with many at all.
Chase, a well trained soldier and well educated student was the first to fight face to face with the Spartans. Chase threw a dodgeball at Adam, but he dodged it quite easily. More of the Persians advanced to the Spartans’ hide out. I cannot help laughing at the absurdity of what happened next. Grayson, a younger soldier eager to fight but of lesser training, threw a dodgeball over, missing the Spartans by a landslide, hit Chase and killed him by hitting him on his back. Chase was the first to charge, first Persian to throw, and third to die. (Maddie was the first to die. She had been hit by Hunter while she was walking forward. Apparently, James was the second to be killed, which I do not recall, but I must get back to my purpose).
The Persians stayed back trying to protect themselves. The Spartans frequently threw the dodgeballs, killing multiple people. Kyle V., a part time student who joined the Persian army, ran forward, dodged, and threw. Luke deflected multiple dodgeballs by hitting them away with a dodgeball in hand. Grayson and Will were hit and fell to the ground. The numbers dwindled down steadily. The battle obviously was leaning towards a Spartan victory.
Kyle V. who fought close to the Spartan territory was hit. In this army, there was another soldier with the name Kyle as well. He was noted to fight against the Spartans in this battle, but his actions in battle were unnoticed. He died unnoticed as well.
Stuart, who told Hunter all Mr. Aubry’s plans and secrets for battle, held through the battle quite well for he stayed back like many others. Tragically, he was hit by a dodgeball on the finger and bled to death. Anna, a sassy warrior, advanced and thus died. It was then two on two. Adam and Hunter from Sparta against Rebecca and Luke from Persia.
In all of my study, I have yet to understand why, but there was a part in the battle, when it was just two on two (of course Mr. Aubry watched in terror but he dare not go out there and fight the two boys) where there was silence, rest, and mourning. The Spartans recovered faster and continued their frequent throwing of dodgeballs. Rebecca and Luke tried to deflect the dodgeballs, but with the few cardboard shields they had askew, the task wasn’t easy. Rebecca went down, Luke following soon after.
Having witnessed this inglorious battle, Mr. Aubry fled the area. After returning to his classroom, Mr. Aubry burst into tears. He wept for his army and for the pitifulness of the human life. He decided to shave his mustache and move away.