Author: Jan Scholten
2.6.8 Stage 8: Samarium
Labor 5: The Stymphalean Birds.
These monstrous birds with their copper beaks, claws and feathers lived near the marshes of Stymphalos in Arcadia. They were hiding in the woods and came only out at night. They killed people by shooting them with their bronze feathers. Heracles frightened them out of the woods with a big rattle and shot them with his poisonous arrows. During the fight Heracles is shot by many of the birds' feathers, but he keeps going on.
This is most probably the hardest labor, as Heracles is wounded himself by the birds' feathers. Birds are a symbol of the Lanthanides. Hard work and enduring are typical themes of Stage 8.