Once upon a time, a
long time ago, there lived a gifted musician. Some
say that Orpheus was the son of a king. Others say Orpheus was the son of Apollo
and Calliope (one of the muses.)
his parentage, Orpheus was a most gifted musician. When he played the lyre,
his songs could cast spells and soothe savage
beasts. It was said that Mercury may have invented the lyre, back
when Mercury was a baby, but
One day, Orpheus fell
in love with the beautiful nymph, Eurydice. On their wedding day,
Eurydice was bitten by a snake and died.
Orpheus was grief stricken.
Boldly, bravely, he used his music to soothe the beasts who guarded
the doorway to the Underworld and demanded audience with the great
god, Pluto. He begged Pluto to allow his wife to come back to earth as
herself, not reborn as someone else.
Ever a soft touch when
it came to love, Pluto
agreed. Pluto had one condition. Pluto agreed to let
Eurydice follow her husband back to earth and life. But, during the
trip, Orpheus had to promise not to look back until both he and his
wife were safely back on earth.
worried. He was afraid that perhaps his wife might need his help - it
was a very scary trip back to the surface. He worried that perhaps Pluto
would not send her after all. To reassure himself that all was
fine, he risked a quick look behind him. His wife slipped back into
the darkness, and was never allowed to return to life.