Belleraphon loved adventure. And when he got a chance to slay the chimera, it was like an answer to his deepest wish.
Long ago in the land of Corinth, Greece lived Belleraphon, son of the king Glaucus. One day, in his quest for adventure, Belleraphon left home. On his way, he was befriended by Proteus, son-in-law of Iobates, the king of Lycia. Proteus was jealous of Belleraphon. He gave a sealed letter to Bellerophon and asked him to hand it over to Iobates. Bellerophon thought it was a recommendation letter to the king asking him for an adventurous job. Actually, Proteus had requested Iobates to kill Bellerophon.
When Bellerophon reached Lycia he found the people of Lycia were being harassed by a Chimera who would come and carry off livestock, women and children. Chimera was a fire breathing creature with the head of a lion and the body of a dragon.
When Iobates read the contents of the sealed letter given by Bellerophon he was confused. He knew if he killed Bellerophon, Glaucus would wage a war against Lycia. But he wanted to make Proteus happy. So he sent Belleraphon to slay the Chimera, confident that he would not return alive.
Belleraphon was delighted that his dream for adventure had finally come true. He also wanted to free the people from the fear of Chimera.
Before leaving, Belleraphon sought the advice of Polyidus, a wise man in the kingdom of Lycia. Polyidus told Belleraphon he could slay the Chimera only if he had Pegasus, a winged flying horse that roamed free in the forest. He also told Bellerophon that Athena (Greek Goddess of arts and wisdom) could help him find Pegasus.
On Polyidus's instructions Bellerophon visited Athena's temple, offered her many gifts and slept overnight in the temple premises. That night, Athena appeared in a dream and gave Bellerophon a golden bridle and directions to find Pegasus. When Bellerophon woke up, he found the golden bridle lying next to him.
Excited, he followed the instructions given by Athena and reached a forest. He hid among some bushes and watched Pegasus approach a well to drink water. The moment Pegasus knelt down to drink water; Belleraphon rushed and slipped the golden bridle on its head. Pegasus shook and flew up in the sky. But Bellerophon clung to him.
Pegasus knew he couldn't escape and had to serve his new master. Together they set out in search of the chimera. After many days, they found the chimera and Bellerophon killed it with a long spear. He returned to the palace of King Iobates carrying the head of the chimera. The people of Lycia rejoiced. Impressed by his bravery, King Iobates got his daughter married to Bellerophon.
The story does not end here. After the death of King Iobates, Bellerophon ascended the throne. But his zest for adventure remained. One day, he mounted Pegasus and rode to Mount Olympus, the abode of the Greek gods. Zeus, the king of the Greek Gods was angered by the audacity of a human wanting to visit his abode and decided to punish him. He sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus. The gadfly stung Pegasus who panicked and threw off Bellerophon. Pegasus then ascended high up in the sky and turned into a constellation. He is still up there. On clear nights, you can see him in the northern hemisphere. As for Bellerophon, he was maimed when he fell on the earth and wandered the whole earth in search of his dear horse and never found it again.