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Ancient Greece
Eros and Psyche



Eros and Psyche
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    admirers, bleak, death-like, divine, immortal, knowing, needless, nightfall, oracle, plotting, poppy, racked, roundtrip, speculation, squarely, underworld
     content words:    Mount Olympus, When Psyche, Poor Psyche, When Eros, But Eros


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Eros and Psyche
By Vickie Chao
  

1     There were once a king and a queen living in an obscure kingdom. They had three daughters together. Their youngest, Psyche, was a very beautiful girl. Her looks attracted many admirers. Every day, thousands of people lined up outside of the palace. They waited patiently for one thing and one thing only. They wanted to get a glimpse of Psyche. When they at last did, they were all rendered speechless. They wondered how Psyche could be so beautiful. Soon, a rumor began to spread. Many people came to believe that Psyche was actually Aphrodite herself. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of beauty. For centuries, people visited her temples and worshipped her. Now, because of the rumor, they stopped paying her respect.
 
2     Looking down from Mount Olympus, Aphrodite found her altars deserted. She was furious. She hated Psyche. For revenge, she asked her son, Eros, the god of love, for help. She told him to turn his magical arrows at Psyche. She wanted her to fall in love with a monster.
 
3     While Aphrodite was plotting against Psyche, the king grew increasingly worried. He saw how popular his daughter was. He noticed how people began treating her like a living goddess. All that attention could upset the deities. He did not want to cross them. He wanted to find his daughter a good husband. But no man had come forward to claim her hand. Everybody thought Psyche was a divine being. So nobody dared to marry her.
 
4     Desperate for some guidance, the king consulted the oracle of Apollo. He got an answer back shortly, but the answer was not at all what he had expected. The oracle said that Psyche's future husband would meet her on top of a mountain. It also said that he was a monster that neither gods nor men can resist. The king was horrified. He loved Psyche a lot. He did not want her to marry a monster. But he also did not dare to ignore the oracle. Reluctantly, he began to prepare for Psyche's wedding. On the destined day, Psyche dressed in black. Her gown and the entire procession looked more like a funeral than a wedding. On the way to the mountaintop, nobody was laughing. Everybody was weeping. When they reached there, they left Psyche alone to face her destiny.
 
5     As Psyche was waiting for the worst, a gentle wind carried her away to a flowery field where she found a marvelous house. She went inside, wandering from one room to another. All of a sudden, she heard voices. The voices told her that they were her servants. They would do everything they could to please her. True to their words, those invisible servants prepared a bath for her. They laid out delicious meals. They even played music and sang songs. At night, Psyche took an oil lamp with her and retired to her room. As darkness enveloped her chamber, her husband came. He spent the night with her and talked to her gently. When Psyche awoke in the morning, her husband was gone.

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