Some years ago, I started working on a version of the story of Demeter and Persephone. I put part one of the story on this blog back in 2012; now, finally, here’s part two. No promises when part three will be done.
For part one of the story, click here.
Demeter’s heart was sad at the loss of her daughter, and she was angry at Zeus and Hades. In her sadness and anger, she wandered across the land, until at least she came to the house of wise King Celeus, ruler of the beautiful city of Eleusis.
Demeter sat down to rest on the wayside by the road, in a shady place beneath an olive tree, next to the Maiden Well, from which the women of Eleusis came to get water. She looked like a woman who was too old to bear children, the kind of respectable older woman who might care for the children of a king, or perhaps like one of the housekeepers who clean the echoing halls of a king’s palace.
The four daughters of King Celeus came to Maiden Well with their bronze pitchers, to draw water and carry it to their father’s house. Their names were Callidice, Cleisidice, Demo, and Callithoe who was the eldest of them all. They looked like goddesses in the flower of their girlhood. They saw Demeter sitting there in the shade of the olive tree, but they did not know that she was a goddess — when gods and goddesses roam the earth, it is never easy for mortals to recognize them — and so they spoke to her.
“Old mother,” they said to her, “where do you come from, and what people do you come from? Why have you gone away from the city, and why do you stay away from houses? In many of the shady halls of the houses of our city, there are women of just such age as you, and they would welcome you there.”
Demeter, seeing that the girls were polite, answered them politely. “Hail, dear children,” she said, “whosoever you are. I will tell you my story; for it is right that I should tell you truly what you ask. Here is my story:
“Doso is my name, the name my stately mother gave to me. I have come from the island of Crete, sailing over the wide back of the sea. But I did not come willingly.
“Pirates took me from Crete by force of strength. Continue reading “How Doso came to live with Metaneira”