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The monster that petrified


   Those who happened to pass from the central road of Ag.Marina-Platanias in days with bad weather have surely seen the waves break at the shores of the deserted island Thodorou. But those who have passed from this road in days with good weather have witnessed the beauty of the Cretan Land. It is worth to see the island in both ways in order to understand its troubled/turbulent history, the legends, as well as its everyday life.

According to the tradition, years ago this island didn't exist. The only thing that someone could see was the open sea. The residents were living happily until a sea monster decided to lacerate them.

   The people of the village were sleeping when suddenly they heard the roaring of the monster. Panic-stricken they were looking at the sea without being able to see what was going on. With the sunrise they saw the huge black bulk of the monster coming to the seashore. The sea was trembling and the residents were wishing that this would be a simple nightmare. Unfortunately the monster was real as well as its baby that was following its mother.

   Suddenly the young men took their weapons in order to kill monster. After a while the rest of the men followed them at the seashore throwing their arrows against the monster but without any success. The rest of the village's inhabitants that weren't in position to offer any kind of help, were watching from the end of the village. As soon as the monster took notice of their presence, it roared and opened its mouth widely as if it wanted to tear them into pieces. At that crucial time the men went back with the other residents.

While the monsters were coming, the women bend to their knees and were praying to the Mother of God and St.George to help them. Then a miracle happened and the two monsters petrified.

   The big monster is called Thodorou and its baby is following. The big hole by the side is not a cave, it's just the monster's mouth that didn't have a change to close before the Mother of God and St.George petrified it.

   This island has always been deserted, so the residents of Crete decided to call it Akoito, a place not suitable for human establishment. Only when in the 1574 the venetians build two fortresses, did the island gather many people. The first at the top of the island and the other, that they named Thodorou a little bit lower. The island became a military base in order to prevent the Turkish army to land at the Bay of Platanias. But 70 men didn't have the power to stop the enemy.

    At 1645 the Turks attacked and within a few hours the war reached Chania. Then the 70 men who were in no position to resist the attack, gathered at the highest fortress with their commander and blew up themselves so that they wouldn't have to surrender. After that everything went back to normal and no one ever lived in that island apart from wild animals.

   Maybe the whole story was a figment of the resident's imagination and the beast that was threatening to eat the island of Crete never has been real. Such things never really happened. Other things did happen though. From this sea didn't come one, but many other monsters in past times. The people of Crete cried too many times and prayed to god to save them from the corsairs and pirates, the Turks and from many more dangers. Those were the real monsters that from time to time reached the seashore. And the young men probably didn't have to fight with such a monster but in reality they fought against many other conquerors.

   Therefore it's not possible for those who pass from this area and listen to the sound of the waves not to bring in their minds the torments and the legends of Crete that are more real that the reality itself.