Classic Myths

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Tonya Allen and PG
Distributed Proofreaders


Retold By


Principal of the Lincoln School

Minneapolis Minn.



with drawings entirely from classic sources


The very cordial reception given this little book by teachers and children, both in school and out of school, has tempted me carefully to revise the stories, omitting some and adding others, in the hope of making the book still more welcome and more helpful. The illustrations in the present edition are all from classic sources, and reproduce for the reader something of the classic idea and the classic art.

The book was originally prepared as an aid in Nature Study, and this thought has been retained in the present edition. By reading these myths the child will gain in interest and sympathy for the life of beast, bird, and tree; he will learn to recognize those constellations which have been as friends to the wise men of many ages. Such an acquaintance will broaden the child’s life and make him see more quickly the true, the good, and the beautiful in the world about him.


Minneapolis, October, 1901.


How the Horses of the Sun Ran Away (Greek)
Woden, God of the Northern Sky (Norse)
Jupiter, God of the Southern Sky (Roman)
Diana, Queen of the Moon (Greek)
Jack and Jill on the Moon Mountains (Norse)
The Man in the Moon (German)
A Story of an Evening Star (Greek)
The Giant with a Belt of Stars (Greek)
The Great Bear in the Sky (Greek)
Castor and Pollux, the Starry Twins (Greek)
The Milky Way (Russian)
How Fire Came to Earth (Greek)
Beyond the Fire Island (Russian)
A Legend of the North Wind (Norse)
Orpheus, the South Wind (Greek)
The Little Wind-god (Greek)
The Voices of Nature (Finnish)
A Bag of Winds (Greek)
Echo, the Air Maiden (Greek)
Iris, the Rainbow Princess (Greek)
The Thunder-god and His Brother (Norse)
Neptune, King of the Seas (Greek)
Why Rivers Have Golden Sands (Greek)
Old Grasshopper Gray (Greek)
Where the Frogs Came from (Roman)
The Birds with Arrow Feathers (Greek)
Why the Partridge Stays Near the Ground (Greek)
Juno’s Bird, the Peacock, (Roman)
The Gift of the Olive Tree, (Greek)
The Linden and the Oak, (Greek)
The Little Maiden Who Became a Laurel Tree (Greek)
The Lesson of the Leaves (Roman)
The Legend of the Seed (Greek)
The Girl Who Was Changed into a Sunflower (Greek)
Why the Narcissus Grows by the Water (Greek)
The Legend of the Anemone (Greek)
The Mistletoe (Norse)
The Forget-me-not (German)
Pegasus, The Horse With Wings (Greek)
Suggestions to Teachers
A Bibliography
A Pronouncing Index


Thor, with His Red-hot Hammer, frontispiece
Phaeton Falling from the Chariot
Frigga, the Mother of the Gods
Jupiter and His Eagle
The Head of Jupiter
The Man in the Moon
The Man in the Moon
Orion with His Club
The Great Bear in the Sky
The Great Bear and the Little Bear
Castor and Pollux
Boreas, the God of the North Wind
Tower of the Winds at Athens
Cover of a Drinking Cup
The Head of Iris
A Greek Coin
Silenus Holding Bacchus
Aurora, the Goddess of the Dawn
Castor, the Horse-Tamer; Pollux, the Master of the Art of Boxing
Daedalus and Icarus Making Their Wings
Juno and Her Peacock
A Sibyl
Adonis and Aphrodite
Woden on the Throne
Bellerophon and Pegasus




Phaeton was the child of the Sun-god, Apollo.

“Mother Clymene,” said the boy one day, “I am going to visit my father’s palace.”

“It is well,” she answered. “The land where the Sun rises is not far from this. Go and ask a gift from him.”

That night Phaeton bound his sandals more tightly, and, wrapping a thicker silken robe about him, started for the land of Sunrise, sometimes called India by mankind.

Many nights and many days he traveled, but his sandals never wore out nor did his robe make him too hot or too cold.

At last, as he climbed the highest mountain peak of all the earth, he saw the glittering columns of his father’s palace. As he came nearer he found that they were covered with millions of precious stones and inlaid with gold. When he started to climb the numberless stairs, the silver doors of the palace flew open, and he saw the wonderful ivory ceiling and the walls of the long hall.

He was glad that the steps were many and he looked long at the pictures carved on the walls by an immortal artist.

There were pictures of both land and sea. On the right was earth with its towns, forests, and rivers, and the beings that live in each. On the left was the ocean with its mermaids sporting among the waves, riding on the backs of fishes, or sitting on the rocks drying their sea-green hair. Their faces were alike, yet not alike, as sisters ought to be.

Up, up the hundreds of steps he climbed, never wearied. On the ceiling of this marvelous hall he could see carved the stars of heaven. On the silver doors were the twelve strange beings of the sky, formed of stars; six on each door.

The last step was reached. Outside the sky was dark, but at the doorway Phaeton stopped, for the light from his father was more than he could bear. There sat Apollo, dressed in crimson, on a throne which glittered with diamonds. On his right hand and on his left stood the Days, bright with hope; and the Months, hand in hand with the Days, seemed listening to what the Years were whispering to them.

Phaeton saw there the four seasons. Spring, young and lovely, came first, her head crowned with flowers. Next came Summer, with her robe of roses thrown loosely about her and a garland of ripe wheat upon her head. Then came merry Autumn, his feet stained with grape juice; and last, icy Winter, with frosty beard and hair, and Phaeton shivered as he looked at him. Dazzled by the light, and startled to find himself in such a presence, he stood still.

The Sun, seeing him with the eye that sees everything, asked:

“Why are you here?”

“Apollo, my father, grant me one request, that I may prove to mortals that you are my father.”

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