Although Deucalion was a virtuous king, there were many wicked people in the world, and they had committed many crimes. The king of the gods, Zeus, became angry and decided to cleanse the world with a great flood. Prometheus, however, warned Deucalion in advance. Deucalion built a box which would float upon the waters so that he and his wife, Pyrrha, could survive.
Things happened just as Prometheus had predicted. Rain began to pour from the sky, and it rained for nine days straight. Then, at last, the rain stopped, and the waters began to recede. Finally, the floating box came to rest on top of a mountain. Deucalion and Pyrrha emerged from the box and looked around, but they saw no one else. They were the only two humans left in the world.
"O gods," cried Deucalion, "please help us! My wife and I are both old and unable to bear children. Tell us how to bring the human race back to life again on the earth!"
A divine oracle gave these instructions: "Throw the bones of your mother over your shoulders."
At first, Deucalion was puzzled. Pyrrha, however, realized what the oracle meant. "Husband," she said, "the mother is Gaia, earth, the mother of us all, and her bones are the stones. We must gather stones and throw them over our shoulders."
Deucalion recognized the wisdom in Pyrha's words and did as she said. The stones thrown by Deucalion turned into boys, and Pyrrha's stones turned into girls. Thanks to the pious deeds of this old couple, the human race was brought back to life once again upon the earth.