Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Story of Winter
By Marcus Pan
Many stories abound as to the explanation of the coldest of
Winter. My favorite is from the Romans. I relate it to you now,
from my memory, as I have heard it as a child.
The Rape of Proserpine
Many long years ago this was a land of eternal spring. One
beautiful day Pluto of the underworld was traveling throughout the world in his
onyx chariot drawn by his four, wild, black mares. Venus spied him and besought
her son, Cupid, to pierce him with his arrows. The boy did just that, loosing
one swiftly to his heart.
Meanwhile young Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, was
frolicking amongst her friends in the lovely vale of Enna. There mighty Pluto
laid his eyes upon the beautiful maiden and, pierced with the shafts of love,
fell uncontrollably in love with her. He raced down upon her and snatched her
from the ground. Then he flew off with her down into the dark and gloomy depths
of the Underworld.
Ceres, the goddess of nature, sought after her daughter in
all corners of the world. Saddened and busy with the search she neglected her
beloved Earth and let her become barren and without fertility. Long and hard
she searched and all for naught. It was not until she came upon the fountain
Arethuse till she learned the fate and whereabouts of her beloved daughter.
Upon hearing of her daughter's seat beside the dark-skinned Pluto, she hurried
off to Mount Olympus to the feet of Jupiter, king of all dieties, and asked for
her daughter's release. Jupiter agreed on one condition. And the condition was
the Proserpine was not to have partaken of any food whilst in the underworld.
Jupiter sent Mercury, flee-footed messenger of the gods, to look after this
matter. But, alas, Proserpine had eaten of a few pomegranates while in Pluto's
Jupiter looked down upon his kingdom of Earth and saw it
lieing barren and dead. Not a flower bloomed and not a tree flourished. Ceres
refused to yield a twig unless her beloved Proserpine was returned to her. A
compromise needed to be fabricated and so it was. Six months out of the year,
Proserpine frolics once again in Enna. The other six months of the year she
spends as Queen of the Underworld.
While with the living, Ceres is overjoyed once again and
lets the Earth bloom in full splendour. But upon dear Proserpine's leave to the
underworld, Ceres' sadness shows upon the face of the Earth as she once again
lets the lands grow barren whilst she awaits the return of her fair
The above item may have been edited by the author
since its first appearance in Legends No. 2.