Jupiter, or Jove, the father of the gods, was married to Juno, the queen of the gods. Juno was often jealous of rival affection towards her husband. Tell of two examples of her severity toward her rivals.
There was the time when Jupiter was dating a human, not a god. She was called Io. It was especially bad because he was already married. He had sent a large cloud over the sky so that no-one would see him, since he knew he was being naughty. Juno, noticing the cloud immediately suspected, and with her magic, wafted it away, leaving the two lovers exposed. But Juno had already seen what was happening.
Jupiter, thinking he would have time, turned the girl into a cow! But Juno had caught a glimpse of her and she decided to pretend she did not notice. He thought it was all going very well until she came up to him and said, “Why that is a lovely cow you have there. You must have caught it. May I have it?” Jupiter now had a problem. If he said no, his wife would either get angry or he would arouse suspicion. But if he said yes, his wife would surely do something to the maiden inside the cow. He had no choice but to give it to his wife, so he did so.
Immediately, Juno took the cow and took her to the god with a thousand eyes and told him to keep his eyes on the cow. If anything suspicious were to happen, he was to call Juno and let her know immediately. He did so, and Jupiter had no chance of getting his maiden back or of changing her back into a girl. He was very alarmed at this and so he called on the god of music, Pan, and told him his situation. Pan immediately got to work, trying to put the god to sleep. This worked, however the god only slept with two of his eyes at a time. He kept on working and decided he would tell him the story of the gods in his music. Finally, Pan looked up and saw all his eyes closed. He wasted no time. As quickly as he could he got up and freed the cow. The cow ran to her father and wrote in the sand her name, Io. Her father was greatly grieved at finding his daughter was now a cow. He said, “I would rather have you gone forever than to have you like this.”
One day she was so sad because her father was sad that Io ran away. She ran over the largest things and the smallest things you can imagine. She climbed Mount Everest. She swam the seven seas and she walked many deserts. Finally, Jupiter found her and turned her back into a human.
The second occasion Juno was jealous was when Jupiter dated another girl called Callisto. This is the story.
Jupiter obviously didn’t learn quickly. Before you could recollect exactly what happened, he was dating another girl. This time Juno changed her into a bear! Jupiter and Callisto were very sad because you could see the hair growing on her arms, and her face slowly turning into a bear’s.
Though the girl was a bear, she forgot she was a bear. She was afraid of the woods, and afraid of her own kind. Often she would creep into the outskirts of town, just to be near her father and son. Once, her son was preparing to shoot a deer, when he caught a glimpse of her. He was afraid, though she made no signs of harming him. Seeing what was going to happen, she fell down on what used to be her hands and knees, but her son was terrified, thinking the bear was going to kill him. So he quickly grabbed an arrow and fitted it in place. But Jupiter, seeing what was going to happen, didn’t want it to happen. He didn’t want either of them to win – or die. So he quickly took hold of both of them and stuck them in the sky amongst the stars.
Juno, seeing the two of them given a place of honour, was so angry she probably screamed (but we don’t know that). She rushed over to some of the other gods and complained. She explained that she had sent Callisto into the woods because she was being dishonoured. The god of the sea didn’t fix this, though he did make sure that they didn’t fall down into the sea. And, if you were to look out at the sky and there weren’t any clouds, and if it were dark enough to see the stars, even in the day time, though some of the stars will not be there, or may have changed places like the bear and the boy, you will never quite see them disappear below the horizon.
19 Apr 2011
A literature narration
Jemimah's exam narration from Thomas Bullfinch's The Age of Fable: