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July 3, 2012 12:06 PM   Subscribe

What is the source of this half-remembered myth/folk-tale about an apple which grew when stamped on?

The story goes something like this... a man was walking down a path when he found an apple in the middle of the way. Although the apple wasn't blocking his way, he stamped on it. To his surprise, it grew. So he stamped on it again. And it grew some more. So he stamped on it again, and it grew so large it blocked his way completely.

I've got it into my head that it's Greek but it may well not be. It's tough to google because 'Apple', 'Myth' and 'Fable' have a mass of hits for computers and games.

For a long while I thought it was the 'apple of discord' but of course that's something else entirely.
posted by unSane to Society & Culture (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Aesop, Fables 534 (from Chambry 129) (trans. Gibbs) (Greek fable C6th B.C.) :
"Herakles was making his way through a narrow pass. He saw something that looked like an apple lying on the ground and he tried to smash it with his club. After having been struck by the club, the thing swelled up to twice its size. Herakles struck it again with his club, even harder than before, and the thing then expanded to such a size that it blocked Herakles's way. Herakles let go of his club and stood there, amazed. Athena saw him and said, ‘O Herakles, don't be so surprised! This thing that has brought about your confusion is Aporia (Contentiousness) and Eris (Strife). If you just leave it alone, it stays small; but if you decide to fight it, then it swells from its small size and grows large.’"
posted by Quincy at 1:13 PM on July 3, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: So, yeah, Aesop's Fables #534 - Hercules and Athena :)
posted by Quincy at 1:16 PM on July 3, 2012

Response by poster: I knew you guys would come through for me!
posted by unSane at 1:27 PM on July 3, 2012

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