one altar for
Ceres, who had shown men how to sow grain, and one for Bacchus, who had
told them about the grape, and one for wing-footed Mercury, who comes
the clouds, and one for Athena, the queen of the air, and one for the
of the winds, and one for the giver of light, and one for the driver of
the golden sun car, and one for the king of the sea, and one-which was
the largest of all-for Jupiter, the mighty thunderer who sits upon the
mountain top and rules the world. And when everything was ready, King
gave the word, and fire was touched to the grass and the twigs upon the
altars; and the grapes and the wheat that had been laid there were
up. Then the people shouted and danced, for they fancied that in that
the thank offerings were sent right up to Ceres and Bacchus and Mercury
and Athena and all the rest. And in the evening they went home with
hearts, feeling that they had done right.
had forgotten one
of the Mighty Beings. They had not raised any altar to Diana, the fair
huntress and queen of the woods, and they had not offered her a single
grape or a single grain of wheat. They had not intended to slight her;
but, to tell the truth, there were so many others that they had never
thought about her.
I do not
suppose that Diana
cared anything at all for the fruit or the grain; but it made her very
angry to think that she should be forgotten.
them that I am
not to be slighted in this way," she said.
well, however, until
the next summer; and the people of Calydon were very happy, for it
as though there would be a bigger harvest than ever.
you," said old King
OEneus, looking over his fields and his vineyards, "it pays to give
We'll have another thanksgiving as soon as the grapes begin to ripen."
then he did not
think of Diana.
next day the largest
and fiercest wild boar that anybody had ever seen came rushing out of
forest. He had two long tusks which stuck far out of his mouth on
side and were as sharp as knives, and the stiff bristles on his back
as large and as long as knitting needles. As he went tearing along
Calydon, champing his teeth and foaming at the mouth, he was a
thing to look at, I tell you. Everybody fled before him. He rushed into
the wheat fields and tore up all the grain; he went into the vineyards
and broke down all the vines; he rooted up all the trees in the
and, when there was nothing else to do, he went into the pasture lands
among the hills and killed the sheep that were feeding there. He was so
fierce and so fleet of foot that the bravest warrior hardly dared to
him. His thick skin was proof against arrows and against such spears as
the people of Calydon had; and I do not know how many men he killed
those terrible razor tusks of his. For weeks he had pretty much his own
way, and the only safe place for anybody was inside of the walls.
When he had
laid waste the
whole country he went back into the edge of the forest; but the people
were so much afraid of him that they lived in dread every day lest he
come again and tear down the gates of the city.
have forgotten somebody
when we gave thanks last year," said King OEneus. "Who could it have
And then he
thought of Diana.
queen of the
chase," said he, "has sent this monster to punish us for forgetting
I am sure that we shall remember her now as long as we live."
sent messengers into
all the countries near Calydon, asking the bravest men and skillfullest
hunters to come at a certain time and help him hunt and kill the great
wild boar. Very many of these men had been with Meleager in that
voyage in search of the Golden Fleece, and he felt sure they would come.