In a small, cozy village nestled among green hills, lived an elderly couple, Philemon and Baucis. Their home was humble, but their hearts were full of love and kindness.
One stormy evening, as the rain pattered against their windows, there was a knock at their door. Standing outside were two travelers, soaked and weary. “May we seek shelter in your home for the night?” they asked politely.
Philemon and Baucis, though they had little, welcomed them with open arms. “Of course, you are welcome here,” said Baucis warmly, as she stirred the soup bubbling on the fire.
As they ate, Philemon noticed something miraculous. No matter how much they served, the pot of soup never emptied! “Our guests are not ordinary travelers,” he whispered to Baucis.
The couple decided to offer their best – a goose, but the bird was too quick for them. Laughing at their attempts, the travelers transformed into their true forms – the mighty gods Zeus and Hermes!
“We traveled many homes, seeking kindness and hospitality, but found none until we reached your door,” Zeus spoke with a thunderous yet gentle voice.
Amazed and humbled, Philemon and Baucis bowed before the gods. “We are just simple folks with simple means,” said Philemon.
Zeus smiled. “Your hearts are pure and generous. Ask for a wish, and it shall be granted.”
Baucis whispered, “We wish to be your servants and guardians of your temple.”
Zeus granted their wish and transformed their humble abode into a beautiful temple. The couple served there for the rest of their lives.
As they grew old together, they made one final wish – to never live without the other. The gods, moved by their love, transformed them into an intertwined oak and linden tree, standing guard over the temple, together forever.
Also Read: The Little Engine That Could
Follow up Questions
- What would you have done if you were Philemon and Baucis and strangers knocked on your door?
- How do you think showing kindness, like Philemon and Baucis did, can make a difference in the world?
- If you could make a wish like Philemon and Baucis, what would you wish for and why?