the story goes ....
loved her little daughter, Persephone.
They played together in the fields most every day. As Persephone
smiled up at her mother, Demeter's heart swelled with happiness,
and the crops grew high and healthy. Flowers tumbled everywhere. As time passed, Persephone grew into
a lovely goddess. That's when the trouble started.
the king of the underworld, was Zeus' brother. That meant he was
Persephone's uncle. Hades was a gloomy fellow. He normally
stayed out of sight in the Underworld. But one day, he felt
restless. He decided to take his three-headed dog out for a run.
Cerberus, his dog, usually stood guard at the gate to
Underworld. But Hades gave his pup a break now and then, and
left a couple of spirits in charge instead.
flew his chariot up to earth. Cerberus leaped out of the
chariot and ran around like a crazy thing, sniffing flowers with
all three of his heads. The dog ran up to a lovely young woman,
the goddess Persephone. Some
people might have been startled if a three-headed dog came
tearing up. But Persephone only laughed and scratched his heads.
Hades loved that old dog. He watched his dog playing with
Persephone. He heard Persephone delighted laugh. Hades fell in love. Before anyone could stop him,
he grabbed his niece, his dog, and his chariot and dove deep into the darkest depths of the
cried about it. But it did her no good. Hades locked Persephone
in a beautifully decorated room in the Hall of Hades. He brought her all kinds of
delicious food. Persephone refused to eat. She had heard if you
ate anything in Hades, you could never leave. She had every
intention of leaving as soon as she could figure out how to do
a week went by. Finally, in desperate hunger, Persephone ate six
pomegranate seeds. She promptly burst into tears.
was not the only one crying. Demeter, her mother, missed her
daughter terribly. She did not care if the crops died. She did
not care about anything except finding her daughter. No one
knows who told Zeus about it, but it was clear this could not go
on. Zeus sent his son Hermes to work a deal with Hades.
was the deal Hermes worked out: If Persephone would marry Hades,
she would live as queen of the Underworld for six months
each winter. In the spring, Persephone would return to earth and
live there for six months. Everyone finally agreed.
why we have seasons. Every spring, Demeter makes sure flowers
are blooming and crops are growing and the fields are green with
welcome. Every fall, when Persephone returns to the underworld,
Demeter ignores the crops and flowers and lets them die. Each
spring, Demeter brings everything to life again, ready to
welcome her daughter's return.
and her daughter Persephone
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