The Story of Demeter
and Persephone: A Puppet Show
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a goddess named
Demeter and her lovely daughter Persephone. One day, Persephone went out
for a walk.
What a lovely day to pick flowers. (Persephone is skipping and humming
in the meadow)
(with an evil laugh) I will kidnap Persephone while she is picking
flowers in the meadow and take her to the underworld with me!
Hades makes a special flower that has the magical power to make
Persephone go over to it and try to pick it.
Look at that lovely flower! (She goes over to it and starts to pick
(sneaks up behind Persephone and starts to pull her down into the
My dear father Zeus, help me! Hades is trying to kidnap me. Can
anyone hear me? Help!!!!!
The only people in all the land who know what has happened are Hekate
(making a horrible face) Oh no! Persephone, where are you?
For nine days and nine nights Demeter went searching through the
entire earth for Persephone. Finally, Hekate came along with some information.
Demeter, I have some news for you. One of the gods took your daughter
(in shock) One of the gods? I will go ask Helios who took my daughter,
for he is a great god who can see all and hear all. He will know who did
So Demeter went to see Helios.
Please tell me Helios, do you know who took Persephone?
Yes, I do know who has taken your daughter.
Who? Please tell me who?
Hades has taken Persephone with the help of Zeus.
Demeter was very angry with Zeus, so she decided to never go to
Olympus until she got Persephone back. Instead, Demeter began wandering
all over the earth. She changed her appearance so that no one would recognize
her. Now Demeter looked like a very old lady. She went to many different
places, visiting many different people, until she finally came upon four
Hello old mother, who are you?
I am an old woman, I have been wandering for a long time and know
not where I am. Do you know of a family in need of a nanny? I would take
good care of the child and care for him as I would my own.
We know of a place just for you, we will bring you to our own house
in hope that our mother will let you live with us and help raise our baby
So Demeter went with the four women to the house of Metaneira, and
the women tell their mother of the kind old woman looking for work. Metaneira
accepts Demeter as the nanny of her child.
Please, old woman, you honor us with your presence. We would be
most happy if you were to join us in our house and help me nurse my son.
You are so kind. I will happily raise your son. I will be a good
nanny and take care of him as if he were my own.
Demeter wanted to repay the family for their kindness by making
their son immortal. She fed him the food of the gods and gave him a bath
in fire. Demeter did this night after night. If Demeter could have finished
this, the child would have become immortal. But one night his mother saw
what Demeter was doing and she didn’t understand. She was very frightened
at the sight of her son being put into a fire.
What are you doing to my child? You are hurting him. You must stop
that right away. My child will die if you put him in that fire!
Demeter became very angry that Metaneira wanted her to stop putting
the child into the fire.
Foolish woman, you know not the power of the gods. I was trying
to help your son become immortal. I am the goddess Demeter, bringer of
crops. You have dishonored me, but if you build me a temple in my name
and honor me, I will reward you.
Demeter then changed back into the beautiful goddess and left Metaneira’s
And so all of the townsmen obeyed the orders of Demeter and began
to build a temple in honor of the beautiful goddess. At night all of the
workers went home to rest and to be with their families. But Demeter never
left the temple. She stayed and cried for her daughter. She missed Persephone
I am so lonely without my daughter Persephone, I will have to find a way
to get her back.
Since Demeter is the goddess of all plants that grow from the ground,
she decided to use her powers to get back at everyone for her not being
able to see her daughter. She thought of a great plan. Demeter used her
power of being the goddess of grain and wouldn’t let any seed grow from
the ground for a whole year! Zeus was very worried about what was happening
to the land, so he sent down a messenger to talk to Demeter.
Demeter is being very unfair by making the whole land suffer because
she misses Persephone. I want you to go down there and talk her out of
I will try, Lord Zeus.
So Iris went down to try to convince Demeter to stop making the
earth suffer, but she would not listen. Zeus was very worried that no
food was growing for everyone to eat. And no one was happy because the
world wasn’t very pretty without plants. Zeus thought and thought. He
finally realized that the only thing he could do to help was to let Demeter
see Persephone again. Powerful Zeus sent a messenger to the kidnapper
to send Persephone back to her mother right away.
Will you go down to the Underworld and tell Hades to bring back
Of course I will go and talk to Hades for you, Zeus.
And so Argeiphontes went to the Underworld.
Hades, Zeus has sent me here to tell you that you must return Persephone
right away. Her mother, Demeter, misses her very much, and if Persephone
is not returned, Demeter will not let any food grow on the land.
I will give Persephone back to Demeter. (Hades walks over to Persephone
and slips a seed into her mouth)
(she unknowingly swallows the seed)
When Persephone heard the great news she was so excited that she
ate the evil seed that Hades put into her mouth without even realizing
it. This was Hades plan to keep Persephone. You see, if she eats
anything that grows in the Underworld, she must always go back.
When Demeter and Persephone saw each other they were so happy and
they gave each other a big, huge hug. But even in her happiness, Demeter
suddenly got worried that this was too good to be true.
Tell me Persephone, did you eat anything while you were in the Underworld,
anything at all?
I will tell you everything mother. I did eat a seed while I was
down with Hades. He stuck it in my mouth without my knowing. I’m so sorry
That’s okay, Persephone. We will find a way to fix this.
So Zeus, Demeter, and Persephone thought and thought until they
came up with a plan that would keep everyone happy… including the kidnapper
I have decided that Persephone will spend two parts of the year
with her mother and her friends, and the other part in the Underworld
This plan is not all bad. When Persephone is in the Underworld,
Hades promised that she would be queen and everyone would do whatever
she told them to and be extra, extra nice to her. Demeter realized that
she was happy with this plan, so she finally used her power and allowed
all grain and flowers to grow from the ground again. Everyone was happy
because the earth was beautiful once again. But when Persephone was gone
and had to go to the Underworld Demeter got so sad that nothing could
grow like it used to and the earth got very cold and gloomy. Everyone
felt Demeter’s sadness.
So for two parts of the year Persephone gets to be with her mother, and
they live happily ever after.