If your child is a true monster before going to sleep and insists on getting a fairy-tale for sweet dreams, and if your stock of stories is already run out, don’t get panic. There is always a way. Greek mythology is full of intriguing myths and legends that could help you anytime. They are suitable for children, pupils, teenagers and even for you, grown-ups. 🙂
There is one particular legend that I love best and it was my favourite night tale when I was a kid and couldn’t still read by myself (i.e. when I was a sweet but very bothersome small monster 😀 ). Here it is.
Once upon a time there lived an extremely beautiful maid named Persephone. She was the daughter of Zeus (the ruler of the Olympian Gods) and Demeter (the Goddess of Harvest and Fertility). One day the young girl went out with her friends – the Oceanids and Artemis and Goddess Athena, to gather wildflowers with which they would make beautiful wreaths. Her mother warned her not to ride away from the other girls. Unfortunately, Persephone was enchanted by the aroma of the flowers and forgot her mother’s warning.
At that time, Hades saw the beauty and fell in love with her at first sight. He immediately decided that she would be his Queen, the Queen of the Underworld. He arose in his chariot from his Kingdom and he abducted her. While kidnapping her, the maiden was crying and her cries were heard by Demeter. The Goddess ran to the field as fast as she could but unfortunately, her daughter wasn’t there. She only found the wreath of wildflowers made by Persephone. Demeter wandered here and there looking for her child but in vain. Her sadness was great. Her daughter’s absence brought her only pain and grief. Being in that mood the Goddess didn’t allow the crops to grow. The fields were bare, the ground – fruitless. People were starving. Despite all this, Demeter was firm. Nothing would change until her Persephone came back.
Zeus was watching all this from the Mount Olympus. When he realized that starvation would kill mankind, he ordered to Hades to return Persephone to her mother. The God of the Underworld unwillingly obeyed. Before releasing her, he prepared an opulent dinner. She had to eat well before taking the long journey home. The young girl looked at the rich table and numerous dishes but she took only six pomegranate seeds. And these tiny blood-red seeds predestined the life of the mankind. According to the Olympian laws, those who ate whatever from Hades’ repast, their destiny was to come back to his dark kingdom. This was Persephone’s destiny as well. She would always return to the Underworld and would be its Queen and the wife of Hades six months a year. She would spend the other half of the year with her mother and the other Gods on the Mount Olympus.
That’s why nowadays we have a change of the seasons. When Persephone is with Hades in the Underworld and her mother wanders lonely not allowing the crops to grow, it is autumn and winter. When the Queen of the dark kingdom turns back to her mother’s warm hug, everything blossoms and spring and summer come. Did you like it? … 🙂