20 August, 2015

The Goddess Athena And Why Crows Are Black

Close up of black crow

We were walking by the river in Truro, Cornwall when we came across lots of crows living in the tall trees by the water. That's one of the Truro crows above. I snapped a photo of him as he was having his lunch.

In Greek mythology there is a reason given as to why crows are black. According to the legend they were originally white. This is the story:

The god Hephaistos must have had human like qualities because he lusted after the goddess Athena. To try and have his evil way with her, he tricked her into being alone with him. He then, to put it politely, was full of desire for Athena.

Unfortunately for him his act of passion wasn't completed and his seed fell to the ground. Athena kept her virtue but Mother Earth conceived Hephaistos' child.

When born the poor baby was very ugly with a serpent's tail instead of legs. He looked half boy and half snake. The child was given to King Kekrop's daughters to bring up, but they had instructions never to look at him - which must have made child care a little difficult.

King's daughters, being what they are, they decided to take a peek at the baby. The sight of the child drove them mad. So much so they felt compelled to hurl themselves off the summit of the Acropolis.

No I haven't forgotten the crows!

A crow, who just happened to be Athena's favourite bird in all the world, told her about the bad news of the King's daughters. Athena was actually still building the Acropolis at the time. She was so shocked by the story that she dropped a huge boulder she happened to be holding. The stone can still be seen today as Mount Lykabettos.

Athena was all shook up about the news and also for dropping the boulder. She decided to take action against the crow and crows in general.

Athena banned all crows from the Acropolis forever and she turned their feathers black.

So, never make a goddess drop anything as you never know what the outcome might be.

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