Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Cover Image

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

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Student Question

How does Percy escape the Chihuahua in The Lightning Thief?

Quick answer:

Percy escapes the chihuahua by jumping from the observation deck of the St. Louis arch to the Mississippi River. This is the only way he can save himself and retrieve the sword that he's just lost.

Expert Answers

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At first, all seems well. Percy, Grover, and Annabeth are taking a little trip up in the elevator to the observation deck of the world-famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Annabeth loves architecture and enjoys telling the boys about how the arch was built.

Before long, it's time for the observation deck to close, much to Percy's relief, as Annabeth could've jabbered on about the arch for hours. Percy steers Annabeth and Grover to the elevator. As there's no room left in the elevator, he waits for the next one on the observation deck.

Along with him is a lady with a chihuahua. Only the lady isn't a lady, and the chihuahua isn't a chihuahua. In actual fact, they're Echidna, the Mother of Monsters, and her son Chimera, who quickly transforms himself into what he really is, a vicious monster with the head of a lion, the body and hooves of a giant goat, and a tail that consists of a ten-foot-long diamondback snake.

All of a sudden, Percy's involved in the fight of his life. Chimera attacks him and takes a big bite out of his leg. For good measure, the monster blasts a hole through the observation deck, through which Percy drops his trusty sword after Chimera knocks him off balance by wrapping its serpent's tail around his ankles.

Things are looking pretty desperate for Percy, to say the least. It looks like the only way he can escape from Chimera and Echidna is by jumping off the observation deck and into the Mississippi River.

At first, Percy is understandably reluctant to do so. But when Echidna taunts him, saying that Percy has lost faith in the gods and that there is poison in his heart, he knows that she's right. No one can save Percy now, not even the gods. And so there's nothing for him to do but to save himself and dive from the burning observation deck of the Gateway Arch down into the dark depths of the Mississippi.

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