Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

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In Chapter 13 of The Lighting Thief, what was Percy's fatal mistake while battling the Chimera?

Percy loses his sword and his grip on the Chimera, and is bit by the monster.

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In Chapter Thirteen of The Lightning Thief, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover visit the St. Louis Gateway Arch on their three-hour layover. As the monument closes for the day, Percy finds himself stuck on the observation deck with a woman he rode up in the elevator with: a large lady and her pet chihuahua who turn out to be none other than Echidna, the Mother of Monsters, and her son, Chimera. 

They engage in battle, and Percy makes the dangerous mistake of lunging at the Chimera's neck with his sword, Riptide. Riptide hits the Chimera's collar and bounces off, causing Percy to lose his balance and fall over. The Chimera, which has a ten-foot-long diamondback rattlesnake as a "tail" seizes this opportunity to bite Percy in the leg, releasing a venom. Shortly thereafter, Percy drops Riptide. These mistakes put him in a very dangerous situation indeed: Percy is weaponless and poisoned!

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