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Book 11: Midas Notes from Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses Book 11: Midas

Bacchus was so grateful for Silenus' return that he offered to grant Midas one wish. Midas wished that everything he touched would turn to gold, and so Bacchus made it so. Midas soon repented of his wish because he could not even eat because the bread he tried to put in his mouth became gold. Midas repented his wish, and Bacchus took away the gold touch, but later Midas found himself in trouble again.

In his aversion to wealth, Midas spent time in the woods and got to know Pan. When the half-man, half-goat challenged Apollo to a music contest, Apollo won. Midas, no music expert, disagreed with the decision, and so Apollo made Midas' ears become the ears of an ass. To hide his new ears, Midas wore a turban, so the only one who knew of the disfiguration was his barber. The barber couldn't keep the secret to himself, so he dug a hole in the ground and whispered about Midas' ears into it, then refilled it with dirt. Reeds grew up in that spot, and they constantly whispered the news of Midas' ears.

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