The Story of Perdix

From Greek Mythology

Long ago in Greece, in the city of Athens, there lived a man named Dædalus who was a highly skilled worker in wood, stone and metal artistry. No one like him was ever known in the whole of Greece. He was a perfect architect and knew how to make beautiful houses with the use of wood, metal and stones. He had built a stone palace for Ægeus, the young king of Athens, and had beautified the Temple of goddess Athena.

Dædalus had a nephew named Perdix who also lived in the company of his talented uncle and used to learn his arts of perfection. He was a very sharp-minded and curious student and whatever his uncle taught he learnt very fast. Very soon, Perdix became an accomplished worker, an artiste perhaps more talented than his uncle. His knowledge of arts and his skill in workmanship was so perfect that people even started to forget Dædalus. He even invented many new things to be used in architecture, such as hack-saw, chisel and potter’s wheel.

As Perdix’s fame spread all over Greece, his uncle, Dædalus, grew full of envy for his own nephew. He thought: “People are already forgetting me and not giving me the importance they were giving in the past. If this boy keeps on learning fast like this, one day my name will be completely deleted”.

So, one morning when Dædalus and Perdix were both busy decorating the exteriors of the Athena's temple that was built on a high mountain, Dædalus ordered his nephew to go out on a narrow scaffold that was hanging over the edge of the mountain rock. As soon as the innocent boy, Perdix, caught hold of the scaffold, Dædalus blew a heavy hammer in such a way that Perdix's hands missed the scaffold and he slipped deep down in the valley.

Whom God wants to save, nobody can harm. The same happened with Perdix. The goddess Athena came to his rescue. When he was falling down in the valley from the lofty mountain, struggling in the air, Athena used her magic and changed him into a bird. Perdix, now changed into a bird, flew towards the dense forests behind the mountain. And never .. never he returned to his wicked uncle. It is believed that Perdix's soul still hovers over the temple of Athena. Whenever wind blows, flowers bloom, the summer month comes, his soul-stirring voice surpasses the mountain heights as if he is calling: “O world! Whom to trust! Whom to obey! Even dear ones betray in this ugly world.”


More by :  Suniti Chandra Mishra

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