From Chapter TRIUMPHS OF THE GODS, Io and Europa
Suddenly the girls looked up and saw a herd of bulls coming
toward them. "Oh, look!" cried Europa to her friends. "Have you
ever seen a bull as magnificent as that one? What a rich chestnut
color he is! And he has a silver circle on his brow!"
The bull, who was Zeus of course, ambled toward Europa and mooed
softly. "How gentle he is!" Europa said, stroking him. Then the
bull lay down at her feet, as if inviting her to climb onto his
Europa did so without fear. But before her friends could join
her, the bull leaped up, dashed toward the ocean, and then flew
over it, far out to sea. Clinging to the bull''s horns, Europa
looked down and saw a procession of sea gods riding on dolphins,
led by Poseidon.
Europa cried out to the bull, "You, too, must be a god. And if
you are, take pity on me. Do not carry me off to some strange land
far from all my friends."
And the bull answered, "I am Zeus, lord of the sky, but do not
be afraid, for I love you. I am carrying you to my own special
island, Crete, where I was born. There I shall show myself to you
as a god, and you shall bear me sons who one day will be famous and
And so it happened. Europa became the mother of a great king,
Minos, and also of Rhadamanthus, both judges of the dead. And
Europa, after whom the continent of Europe is named, became even
more famous than her sons.
Copyright © 1985 by Macmillan Publishing Company