Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aesop's Fable 30. The Drowning Man and Athena

Athens is a Greek city that is named in honor of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. This story is about a man from Athens who was making a long journey by sea. Without warning, his ship was caught in a fierce storm. As huge waves flooded the ship, the Athenian managed to escape before the ship sank, and some of the sailors and other passengers also escaped. In the distance they could see an island, so each person grabbed a piece of wood to help them stay afloat in the water. They then started swimming toward the island's shore.

The man from Athens, however, did not start swimming. Instead, he began to pray to the goddess Athena. "Oh Athena," he shouted, "please rescue me from this terrible trouble! I promise that I build a temple to honor you if only you will save me now!"

One of the sailors swam by the man of Athens and saw that he was praying. "Pray to Athena if you want," he shouted, "but while you pray to the goddess, you also need to start swimming!"

The moral of the story is that the gods help those people who help themselves.

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