49. Triptolemus and Lyncus

Once upon a time, Pluto had abducted Proserpine, the daughter of Ceres and Zeus, and eventually, Ceres had found Proserpine. But while she was searching all lands and oceans for Proserpine, she had met Triptolemus, an Eleusinian prince, who had sympathetically received her. Remembering the kindness of Triptolemus, Ceres in her munificence, taught Triptolemus the art of agriculture. She also gave him a winged chariot drawn by dragons, so that he could travel to other places, scatter seeds, and promote agriculture in the world.

Traveling in the winged chariot, Triptolemus scattered seeds all over. Due to the seeds falling over wasted lands, the neglected lands were submitted to the plow, and the seeds made the lands yield rich crops. After traveling over wide Europe and vast Asian lands, he arrived on the Scythian coast, where King Lyncus ruled.

Triptolemus approached the palace of Lyncus and sought an audience with him. Lyncus met Triptolemus at his royal court, where Triptolemus was asked to tell his name, from where he had come, and what was the purpose of his visit. Being questioned thus, Triptolemus told his name and said that he had come from Athens, on a winged chariot drawn by dragons. He said he had come to deliver gifts of goddess Ceres, so that the wide realm of Lyncus, may yield ample harvest of nutritious food.

Lyncus received Triptolemus with fake smiles and false shows of affection, while the unsuspecting Triptolemus thought Lyncus was being kind. However, Lyncus was envious of Triptolemus, since he desired himself to claim renown, as the gracious author of all the benefits of Ceres. Therefore, when Triptolemus was in deep sleep, Lyncus drew his sword to kill Triptolemus. But before the sword found its mark, Ceres transformed Lyncus into a lynx, a medium-sized wild cat. Thereafter, Triptolemus resumed his task of spreading the art of agriculture, to all the world.

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

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