Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why the Octopus has Three Hearts.

Long ago, in a far away land, there sat a beautiful woman named Phsyche who was ready to wed. The beautiful girl had her choice of all the men in the kingdom except for the one man she wanted, Osiris. Phsyche wished to marry no one other than Osiris, but was unable to get his attention. For Osiris was utterly in love with another woman.
Phsyche plotted and schemed for twelve months, but every plan she attempted was unsuccessful. One day, she got word that Osiris was engaged to Aglaia. Phsyche’s heart broke into two pieces, but she refused to give up. She decided to try once more to gain Osiris’ love and admiration. She went out to a meadow laden with blue, yellow and orange flowers, bringing with her a large wicker filled with assorted fruits and wine. Phsyche gathered the colourful flowers and laid them in her basket. When she was ready, she ascended the steps to the sacred temple on top of mount Olympus. Once there she offered the contents of her basket to Hera, goddess of marriage, and prayed to her. Hera heard her and looked down from her place amongst the clouds. Stunned by Phsyche’s beauty, Hera descended from the heavens.
“What do you wish from Hera?” Phsyche explained her situation and told the goddess about Osiris’ soon-to-happen marriage to Aglaia. She pleaded with Hera to break the marriage and make Osiris fall in love with her instead. Hera was furious at Phsyche for asking such a thing and cursed her to spend the rest of eternity alone.
            Even after Hera’s refusal to break up the marriage, Phsyche was still determined to get Osiris. Under cover of darkness she snuck into the temple where Aglaia and Osiris were staying to poison Aglaia. She saw two glasses of rich red wine perched atop a metal tray on stone bench in the middle of the large room. It was the perfect opportunity. As she poisoned Aglaia’s wine, Phsyche heard laughter in the other room. She fumbled with the flask and a drop of the murky liquid escaped into the second glass. Phsyche fled to the bushes lining the house and watched as Osiris led Aglaia by the hand and helped her into one of the chairs. He picked up the wine, took a sip and instantly collapsed dead onto the floor. Aglaia let out a cry and flew to his side. Phsyche’s heart broke into a third piece at the sight of her dead love. The colour drained from her face and tears pooled silently in her eyes.
Phsyche ran with all her might to the sea side where the roaring and crashing waves would conceal the sound of her anguished sobs. Poseidon, god of the sea, had seen what she had done. He waved his golden trident and condemned her to live with her grief forever by turning her into an immortal three hearted, eight legged, sea monster. He named his creation the octopus.

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