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Roman Myth
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This is the story of Jupiter, Juno, and Little Io 


Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods and ruled the heavens and the earth. Jupiter had two brothers, Pluto (who ruled the underworld) and Neptune (who ruled the seas). Jupiter was the boss.  Jupiter liked to interfere with life on earth.  Jupiter also had an eye for the ladies.  And even though he was married to a very jealous wife, Jupiter liked to talk to beautiful women everywhere he went. 

One day as Jupiter was looking over his kingdom, he caught sight of a beautiful young river nymph.  This was Io.  Jupiter brought Io up to his palace in the heavens.  

To hide himself from his wife Juno, Jupiter covered the heavens and earth with a thick cover of clouds.  Now Juno, seeing this cover, just knew that Jupiter was up to no good, so she went looking for him.  Jupiter, seeing Juno was on the way, and with no time to return Io to her river, quickly turned her into a cow instead.  When Juno found Jupiter, he was standing next to a very lovely cow.   

 

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Seeing Jupiter with the cow, Juno wasn't fooled. "What a beautiful cow," she said, "May I have it as a present?"

Hoping to continue his disguise, Jupiter had to agree. Juno then placed a guard on the cow to warn her if Jupiter came near.  

Jupiter realized that he had messed up.  There was no river spirit to guard Io's river,  now that she was gone, and things could go very badly without one. He had to get her back home.  Jupiter sent Apollo to rescue her and return her home.  Apollo did this by singing the guard to sleep.  But Apollo wasn't Jupiter and he couldn't change her back from a cow to a water spirit.  

Juno saw that her guard had been tricked into letting the cow go. To punish Io, Juno sent a gadfly to bite and sting her all day long.  Io, still as a cow, swam down her river and out into the sea. She swam all the way to Egypt.  Seeing how troubled Io was to be away from her river, Juno took pity on her and turned her back into her river spirit form. Io was so grateful she promised to never ever go near Jupiter again.  

 


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Written by Mr. Donn
   Clip Art Credit: Phillip Martin
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