Aurora And Tithonus

: Nature Myths And Stories For Little Children

The beautiful youth, Tithonus, loved Aurora, the queen of the dawn. He

was the first one to greet her each day as she drew back the purple

curtains of the east.

He made his bed on the green grass in the meadow that he might not miss

her coming.

Aurora grew to expect his welcome and to love the youth dearly.

One morning when she came Tithonus was not in his usual place.

As she looked anxiously around she saw him with pale face and closed

eyes lying upon the ground.

She darted down to earth and carried his almost lifeless body to Zeus.

She begged the great king to promise that Tithonus should never die.

But alas, in her haste, she forgot to ask that he might forever remain

young. Therefore he grew old and bent, and could no longer walk.

In misery, he begged to go back to the cool grass in the meadow where he

had been so happy.

Aurora in pity said, "you shall go, my Tithonus. To make you happy is my

dearest wish.

"You shall be free from all care.

"You shall not be a man, lest you be compelled to work for your food in

your old age.

"You shall be a grasshopper, free to dance in the meadow grass all the

long summer days.

"I have prepared a dress for you, which shall protect you well."

Then she gave Tithonus the wonderful grasshopper coat of mail which had

been unknown on earth until this time.

She tinted it a soft green so that he might not be noticed in the grass.

Tithonus went that day to live in the meadow and there, any summer day,

you may find him and his family hopping merrily about in the sunshine.