Old Greek Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 129 pages of information about Old Greek Stories.

The very next day the king and the people of Calydon went out into the fields and vineyards to offer up their thank offerings.  Here and there they built little altars of turf and stones and laid dry grass and twigs upon them; and then on top of the twigs they put some of the largest bunches of grapes and some of the finest heads of wheat, which they thought would please the Mighty Beings who had sent them so great plenty.

There was one altar for Ceres, who had shown men how to sow grain, and one for Bacchus, who had told them about the grape, and one for wing-footed Mercury, who comes in the clouds, and one for Athena, the queen of the air, and one for the keeper of the winds, and one for the giver of light, and one for the driver of the golden sun car, and one for the king of the sea, and one—­which was the largest of all—­for Jupiter, the mighty thunderer who sits upon the mountain top and rules the world.  And when everything was ready, King OEneus gave the word, and fire was touched to the grass and the twigs upon the altars; and the grapes and the wheat that had been laid there were burned up.  Then the people shouted and danced, for they fancied that in that way the thank offerings were sent right up to Ceres and Bacchus and Mercury and Athena and all the rest.  And in the evening they went home with glad hearts, feeling that they had done right.

But they had forgotten one of the Mighty Beings.  They had not raised any altar to Diana, the fair huntress and queen of the woods, and they had not offered her a single grape or a single grain of wheat.  They had not intended to slight her; but, to tell the truth, there were so many others that they had never once thought about her.

I do not suppose that Diana cared anything at all for the fruit or the grain; but it made her very angry to think that she should be forgotten.  “I’ll show them that I am not to be slighted in this way,” she said.

All went well, however, until the next summer; and the people of Calydon were very happy, for it looked as though there would be a bigger harvest than ever.

“I tell you,” said old King OEneus, looking over his fields and his vineyards, “it pays to give thanks.  We’ll have another thanksgiving as soon as the grapes begin to ripen.”

But even then he did not think of Diana.

The very next day the largest and fiercest wild boar that anybody had ever seen came rushing out of the forest.  He had two long tusks which stuck far out of his mouth on either side and were as sharp as knives, and the stiff bristles on his back were as large and as long as knitting needles.  As he went tearing along towards Calydon, champing his teeth and foaming at the mouth, he was a frightful thing to look at, I tell you.  Everybody fled before him.  He rushed into the wheat fields and tore up all the grain; he went into the vineyards and broke down all the vines; he rooted up all the trees in the orchards; and, when there was nothing else to

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Old Greek Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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