45. Perseus and Andromeda

Once upon a time, Perseus, flying on his winged sandals, saw from his lofty view, the lands of King Cepheus underneath him. His eyes got transfixed upon seeing the beautiful Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus and Cassiope. Andromeda was bound to a rock, with her limbs fettered to a chain. He would have mistaken her for a finely carved marble statue, had not the breeze moved her luxurious hair, and her eyes streamed not warm tears on her youthful fair cheeks. Perseus became the captive of her charms and his heart burned for her. He alighted lightly beside her and asked her name, her country, and why she was so bound in chains.

Upon seeing Perseus, Andromeda would have surely hidden her blushing face in her soft hands, if only she were not fettered in chains. But now she remained silent, and only her eyes streamed down more tear drops, each like an exquisite pearl of the sea. Lest her silence be construed as a confession of some crime, she answered the questions of Perseus. But as she spoke, a sea-monster fast approached over the waves, and the virgin Andromeda shrieked. Her parents ran towards her, and helplessly weeping, they clung to her fettered form, as if ready to die along with her.

Perseus asked her parents that if his valor saved the life of Andromeda, then would they give her hand in marriage to him? Cepheus and Cassiope agreed and additionally, also promised their kingdom as a dower. Swiftly, Perseus ascended the skies and attacked the sea-monster. The fight was terrible and Perseus slew the sea-monster.
Thereafter, Perseus made three altars to three Gods. At Minerva’s altar on the right, he sacrificed a heifer; at Mercury’s altar on the left, he sacrificed a calf; and at Jove’s altar in the middle, he sacrificed a bull. Cepheus and Cassiope gladly married Andromeda with Perseus, and offered their kingdom as a dower. However, Perseus accepted only Andromeda and refused any dower.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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