Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Pomegranate: A Legend of Yore
Well chaps, it's your lucky day! Today marks the beginning of pomegranate season, woohoo! Pomegranates have been all the rage recently, what with all their magical cancer fighting, blood pressure lowering, heart disease whomping abilities. When I first think of pomegranates, however, I personally am reminded of one of my favorite mythic tales. Ahem...
Persephone was an idiot. Her mother, Demeter, who was the goddess of the harvest, had kept her hidden and safe from all the other debaucherous, rapey Greek gods her whole life. Then one day, as she was sitting idly in the forest, twisting dandelions into a giant hammock, Persephone was snatched up by mean ol' Hades and dragged down into the Hellmouth. (He'd had a thing for her since sophmore year.)
Mama Demeter was soooooo sad. She was so sad that she up and quit her job, which was making things grow. Well, you can guess what happened. All the plants died, then the animals that ate the plants starting dying, and the people who eat the plants and animals were screwed and starving. Bad scene all around.
Meanwhile, back in Underworld, Persephone is getting pretty hungry too. Trouble is that long ago, the Fates decided that you could get a 'get-out-of-Hades-free card', just so long as you didn't eat anything. So Persephone is kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place, as she would like to get back to being totally useless back on Earth.
Well, Hades wants to keep Persephone in the Underworld forever, so he hatches a plan. He knows that Persephone is dumb as a box of hammers, so he tricks her into eating six pomegranate seeds. He does this by telling her that they aren't really food yet, since they're just seeds. Plus, he adds that they are low-carb and a good source of antioxidants. Persephone takes the bait and bam, it's Hellsville for good.
Up top, things are going from bad to worse. People are resorting to cannibalism. It's chaos. Deadbeat Dad, Zeus, sees what's going on and begs Demeter to get back to work. Demeter refuses, she won't make things grow without her beloved daughter.
Zeus decides to make an executive decision, and makes a deal with the Fates. Now Persephone is allowed to come back, but she must spend six months of the year with dirty Hades in Hell, one month for each pomegranate seed she ate. Now to this day, Mama Demeter is happy and makes things grow so we humans won't eat each other for six months out of the year, and for the other six she's real sad and just sits around watching the Golden Girls.
Posted by Tandy at 4:34 PM