89. Procris deserts Cephalus

Once upon a time, Cephalus, the grandson of Aeolus, recounted to Phocus, the son of King Aeacus of Aegina, the origin of his wonderful javelin.

Cephalus narrated that he and his wife Procris, daughter of King Erechtheus of Athens, enjoyed their marital bliss for two months. But when he was trapping antlered deer, on the peak of the green Mount Hymettus, the goddess Aurora saw him and inflamed with desire, she carried him off. But Cephalus found no joy in the most lovely face of the goddess, as the thought of his devoted wife Procris, intervened in the entreaties of Aurora. The angry Aurora let Cephalus go, while warning him that he might no longer wish for Procris.

Cephalus brooded over the words of Aurora. He thought that the goddess Aurora burned with passion, and hid her passion behind a mask of innocence, until the moment of temptation arrived, when she threw off her mask. If a goddess could be tempted, then how could a mortal be not tempted likewise? Suspicion darkened the mind of Cephalus. He thought Procris might be hiding her adulterous feelings, behind a false show of purity. Hence, Cephalus disguised himself and offered expensive gifts to Procris, so that she may be tempted to lose her virtue.

Procris refused the presents, but after several refusals she hesitatingly, accepted a very costly gift and admitted the disguised Cephalus, to her bed. Cephalus was furious and he threw off his disguise. When Procris saw Cephalus, she angrily argued that with such gifts, anybody would have been tempted. But when anger and despair were subdued by silent shame, Procris deserted Cephalus.

Procris went to live in the wilderness. She became a follower of Diana, who in kindness, gifted her a speedy hound and a javelin. The beautiful javelin was made of rare wood and had a sharp golden head. It was such that it never failed its mark, and on its own, always returned back.

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

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