| 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 |
DO UNTO TREES AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.
 THERE was a lake on whose green banks grew many pretty flowers. Beautiful Dryope, with her
smiling baby in her arms, loved to carry garlands of roses to the water-nymphs who lived
in the lake. Once when wandering there she found a lotus blossom and broke it from the
stem to give it to her baby for a plaything.
Dryope's sister, who was with her, looked at the blossom and was much frightened to see
drops of blood where the stem was broken off. The tree was trembling too,
 as if shaken with horror. It was a tree which had once been a lovely maiden by the name of
Lotis. But being pursued by a wooer whom she did not like, Lotis had changed into a flowery plant.
When Dryope saw the lotus bleeding and trembling, she humbly begged it to forgive her, and
then she tried to run away, but she could not. She found that her feet had roots like a plant,
and that the roots had grown down into the ground and held her fast. She tried to get away,
but could not. Something like the bark of a tree began to grow around her. She put her hands
up to her head and found that her hair had turned to leaves.
 She pressed her baby to her heart, but her arms began to turn into branches, like the branches
of a tree. Poor Dryope now knew that she too must become a tree. She gave her baby to her
sister, and asked her to let him some and play under her branches when he grew to be a boy.
She said she hoped he would never break off a branch from a tree lest it might be the home
of a goddess or nymph. And she begged her sister never to let the cows and sheep bite off
her tender branches, or eat her leaves, since that would give her great pain. Thus perished
Dryope crying out that she was unjustly punished.
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