| Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers|
|by Mary E. Burt|
|Twenty-seven stories adapted for young children from selections of works of classic writers of the ancient world. The stories were chosen by the author for their inspirational value, either 'because they contained fine moral points, or else because they were poetic statements of natural phenomena which might enhance the study of natural science.' Writers represented in the collection include Plato, Homer, Hesiod, Aristophanes, Pliny, and Ovid. Ages 6-9 |
MEMORY AND HER BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS
 ONE might suppose that a great king sitting on a throne
high up among the clouds ruling the world must have
everything that heart could wish. Just think how grand
one would feel to throw the lightning from cloud to
cloud and send the thunder rolling through the sky.
Fire crackers and
sky-  rockets would seem quite tame
King Zeus grew very tired of it sometimes. He had it
in his power to make the earth glad with warm sunshine,
but he grew tired of that, too. He could make the
earth dreary and sad with frost and cold. He could
crush giants under great rocks, and rule over the gods,
and banquet on nectar and ambrosia, but he became weary
of all these things. And the reason why he grew tired
was that he kept thinking all the time about the
that were taking place just before him.
He looked down on the earth and he saw men quarreling
with one another and he thought about that. His wife,
Juno, teased him, and he thought about that. His
fellow gods on Mount Olympus played tricks on him and
he played tricks on them and all was vexation. It was
no wonder he wearied of looking at and thinking of what
was going on just around him.
He wished that he might remember the beautiful things
of the past and that he might know good things that
would happen after awhile, so he made a mighty wish in
his heart and this is what it was.
 He wished that there would come to him some lovely
daughters that would dance about him and keep him
thinking of the beautiful things which had happened
long ago, so that he would forget his troubles. And he
wanted them to sing of the wonderful things that were
going to happen some time in the future.
After a while, it all happened just as he desired.
There came a beautiful goddess, whose name was Memory,
leading nine grown-up daughters to him that they might
please him by causing him to think of the pleasant
things of the past and to anticipate the pleasures of
 King Zeus was so happy when he saw the pretty maidens
before him that he forgot to think of the quarrels on
earth and other disagreeable matters. He could do
nothing but admire his daughters and tell them how glad
he was that they had come to him. They danced before
him and sang songs to him and he gave them a whole
mountain for their home, and there they lived, bathing
in the violet-tinted fountains, and dancing around the
altar which was sacred to their father.
They burnt incense to Zeus on this altar, and taught
people to sing songs praising him. There was a
beautiful flying horse which
 came to their home on top
of this mountain. Once, when it was very thirsty, it
struck the side of the mountain with its hoof, and a
fountain of clear cold water sprang up, so that the
winged horse could drink.
The nine daughters of King Zeus used to pet the flying
horse and give him delicious food and he was not afraid
of them. He was a gentle creature and flew away from
cross and ugly people, but he came to poets and
musicians. They never tried to yoke him down to a
plough to do dirty work, but gave him pleasant burdens
to bear. He often carried their music up to Mount
Olympus. So it was no
 wonder that the nine daughters
of Zeus loved him.
It was wonderful the comfort Zeus took in his pretty
daughters. When he saw that they were wise and good
and could drive away cares, he gave them the power to
shed honeyed dew upon the lips of all babies who were
going to grow up and become kings or wise men. This
was a greater gift to any babe than to give him gold or
silver, for he was sure to speak gentle words and make
And Zeus gave the power also to his daughters to take
sorrow out of the heart and make all sad people forget
their troubles. I do not suppose you quite believe my
 but perhaps you will stop to think how dreadful
it would be to forget all your kind friends and all the
pleasant things that have happened to you, you may
agree with me that Memory has beautiful daughters.
And perhaps you will want to learn many poems and
stories while you are very young, so that you can think
of them when you grow older and get tired of
storm-clouds and every-day cares.
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