Looking for a new bedtime story that can also teach important history lessons? Well, you’ve found the right place! Typically, Greek mythology is taught between grades three and five, however it couldn’t hurt to introduce these vivid stories at a younger age so they are familiar with the subject when it’s taught. Want to turn story time into play time? Each tale has a figure from our Mythical Realms® collection to go along with it, this way you can make the story interactive! Today’s story is about Poseidon, god of the sea and brother to the almighty Zeus.
The Tale of Poseidon
What is the story of Poseidon and Athena?
Poseidon is the god of the sea. He has two brothers named Hades, the god of the underworld, and Zeus, the almighty god of the earth. He carries a trident, which is his main weapon, and is said to be the inventor of horses. Poseidon was known to be a very jealous man and one day decided that he would like to be appreciated by the people of land, too. Poseidon knew that the city of Athens, Greece had been trying to decide which god they should build their temple for. Thinking that he deserved this honor, Poseidon told the people of Athens that he would be their protector and they should worship him. Coincidentally, Athena, the goddess of war, had decided the same thing. The people of Athens knew how dangerous it could be if they angered or disappointed one of these gods, so they tried their best to stay out of it. Finally, Athena suggested that they have a competition.
Each god was to give a gift to the people of Athens, and the people would decide which gift they liked better. Poseidon agreed to this, but the people of Athens were still nervous about the idea, for they did not want to upset either god. Poseidon went first, striking the ground with his mighty trident and creating a beautiful lush river that ran straight into the city. The people rejoiced as they saw the water and happily began to drink from the river, but only to spit the water out in disgust. The stream Poseidon had created was not fresh water, but instead salt, which would be useless to the people of Athens. Athena then created an enormous olive tree, which was her symbol, and the people of Athens rejoiced at the new food supply and the shade it would provide to them. Now the people of Athens were nervous, Athena was the obvious winner but what would Poseidon do if they told him he had lost? Lucky for them, Poseidon spoke before anyone could say anything. “You are the obvious winner, Athena,” Poseidon stated. “May the people of Athens always worship you and enjoy the gift you have given them.” Then, a bit disappointed, Poseidon slipped back into the sea to return to his watery kingdom where he was worshiped by everyone.
What a great story! Although Poseidon can behave a bit irrationally in some of the other myths, this tale portrays him as an honorable god. Although he lost the competition against Athena, he acted very nicely by congratulating her and not causing the people of Athens any trouble. What a great way to show your child how to act if they lose a competition!
There are many other stories about Poseidon, which others would you consider reading to your child? How did your child react to this story? Share with us in the comment box below, and make sure to come back next week and check out the tale of the Minotaur!