An original recreation of the ancient Greek story of Athena and Arachne
Oh, Gods of Olympus!
Arachne was a beautiful young woman and the most wonderful weaver.
People travelled great distances to see her work at her loom. Her skilled fingers wove detailed multicoloured tapestries and rugs. Her skill was truly a work of art. Eventually, all of the attention went to her head. Arachne started to brag and become boastful of her talents.
“Athena, the great goddess, has given you an amazing gift, Arachne,” the villagers would often say. This comment made Arachne angry. “Athena did no such thing. I taught myself to weave. No one can weave as well as I—not even Athena, who invented weaving!”
Athena, the goddess of wisdom and weaving, watched the boastful Arachne from her throne high on Mount Olympus. One day she decided that she’d had enough of Arachne. Athena disguised herself as an old woman and went to visit Arachne. “I hear that Athena has given you a great gift—the skill of weaving,” said the old woman.
“I am the best weaver, but Athena has nothing to do with how good I am. Her skill is no match for mine,” stated Arachne.
“You are a talented weaver, Arachne, but you are a foolish girl. You should ask Athena for forgiveness,” the old lady said becoming angry.
“What? Ask for forgiveness! I am telling the truth, and if Athena is offended by my claims, I would be more than willing to show her what real weaving looks like. Arachne said confidently.
With that, the old woman filled with rage and in the blink of an eye transformed back into the magnificent goddess—Athena.
All of the people except Arachne seemed unimpressed by Athena’s presence.
“You think you are better than I, Arachne? Well, let the competition begin,” Athena proclaimed.
A crowd of people gathered to watch the weaving contest. Arachne and Athena both began to weave. Their fingers moved fluidly across the colourful threads.
Athena wove glorious pictures of the gods and goddesses performing kind and heroic deeds. They were the most beautiful images the mere mortals had ever seen. Arachne’s weavings were also gorgeous and perfectly constructed. Her weaving also depicted images of the gods, but they portrayed them as angry and foolish.
Athena was enraged when she saw how Arachne had depicted the gods. She was even more infuriated when she realized that her own skill was only marginally better than Arachne’s. Even though Arachne’s weaving was better, Athena didn’t care.
“You are too boastful and rude, Arachne. How dare you make fun of the gods! “Athena, beside herself, ripped Arachne’s weavings to shreds.
She pointed her finger at Arachne and suddenly Arachne’s nose and ears shrank up, her hair all fell out, her arms and legs got long and skinny, and her whole body shrank until she was just a little tiny spider.
“Now you will be able to weave all day long,” Athena said proudly.
All the villagers were now scared for their lives. No one wanted to enrage any of the gods and be turned into a spider like Arachne.
Zeus was awoken from his midday nap.Something was amiss. No later did his assistant run into the throne room with a newspaper in her hand.
“What is it? Didn’t I ask not to be disturbed?” His voice boomed.
“Yes, my Lord, but have you seen the latest print of the Olympus Affairs Chronicles?” squeaked the assistant
The headlines read: People scared out of their wits as Athena turns a mortal into a spider.
Arrrghhhh!What in gods of Olympus is going on ? We don’t need another public affair like last time.
Why do the Gods go around changing people into spiders?
Call for a Council meeting immediately!
Arachne and Athena took their stand on the podium. The gods began squabbling among themselves, taking sides and offering their opinion.
Zues had enough.He was tired and wanted this to be done with.
Suddenly electrically crackled. The ground rumbled
ENOUGHHH! Yelled Zeus.
Silence crept over.
I‘ve made a decision.
He had such a fierce look in his eyes ,no one dared question him.
Athena will turn Arachne back into her original form. As a punishment Arachne will be cursed with a severe case of hiccups every time, she decides to become boastful.
Athena, on the other hand, will be confined to her shrine for a month. Athena will also have to announce to the world that Arachne is as good a weaver as her.
The Gods gasped!
Athena screamed injustice and put up a great fight. No God of Olympus ever wanted to be at the same level as a mere mortal. She was thoroughly disgusted but had no choice.
The headlines next day read: Arachne and Athena share 1st place for weaving.
And Arachne -she learnt her lesson too. She became much more modest after many severe cases of the hiccups.
ADAPTED FROM: THE STORY OF ATHENA AND ARACHNE
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Oh ,Gods of Olympus – Copyright © Ishita Tenjerla. – All rights reserved.
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