Spring and Fall

Image Credit, Flickr User uteart, via CC

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful fairy who took care of all the harvest on earth. Her name was Ceres. Ceres took care that the earth looked beautiful all year round with blossomed flowers and bountiful of crop. The trees were laden with fruits, and the grass was green everywhere. Ceres made sure that there was spring all throughout the year! But this was a mighty job! Every single day of the year, she would head out in her flower studded chariot, to check things were going on right. Her job was also a very important one. Both gods and humans did everything they could to keep her happy. They feared that if she ever gets upset or angry all the crops would die.

Ceres had a daughter named Persephone that she loved dearly. Loving and being with her daughter made her the happiest in the world. When Ceres was out for work, Persephone would often play in flower fields nearby. One day Persephone as usual was plucking daisies to make flower jewellery for herself when something horrible happened.

Pluto, the king of the dark, dingy and scary world that existed beneath the earth known as the underworld, spotted the lovely girl. King Pluto had all the riches of the world , but no one to enjoy it with. He thought that a beautiful girl like her would be an excellent companion. So determined pluto requested Persephone to come with him. When Persephone firmly denied, he took her by force to the dark frightening underworld.

When Ceres returned home, she found her daughter missing. She was confused and angry. She looked for her everywhere, but no one had a clue as to where Persephone had disappeared. Days passed, and without her daughter Ceres became depressed and stopped looking after the harvest. Crops started to die. People on earth were miserable, and gods got worried.

On the other hand, while the underworld palace was truly beautiful and comfortable, Persephone was miserable. What Persephone wanted was the brightness of earth and love of her mother. She longed to go back to her. Persephone hadn’t eaten anything in months except once when she really got tempted to eat six seeds of her favourite fruit – Pomegranate!

The Zeus, god of the sky who had been watching everything from above knew where Persephone was. Seeing the plight of people that they had nothing to eat anymore, he decided to intervene. Pluto, seeing Persephone so unhappy agreed that she could leave the underworld. But Alas! Since Persephone had eaten six seeds of pomegranate in underworld, there was no way she could leave it forever! Anyone who ate underworld food belonged there! So it was decided that, for the six seeds she had eaten, she would live in the underworld for six months out of a year. For the remaining six months, Persephone would return and live on earth with her mother.

So now whenever Persephone comes to live with Ceres, Ceres makes sure that all the flowers bloom to welcome her daughter, when she returns to her. This is the time when earth sees the season of spring. Each fall, when Persephone returns to Pluto, Ceres cries, and lets all the crops die until spring. And then the cycle starts all again.


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