Arachne

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  • Arachne lived in a tiny village with her father.
  • Arachne had the finest cloth and was known all over Greece. No one had ever seen cloth like hers before! People would come far and wide to watch her work.
  • As for Athene’s weaving, how could there be finer cloth or more beautiful embroidery than mine? If Athene herself were to come down and compete with me, she could do no better than I.” Arachne said.
  • "Reckless girl,” said the old lady, “how dare you claim to be equal to the immortal gods themselves . . . Rest content with your fame of being the best spinner and weaver that mortal eyes have ever beheld.”
  • “Stupid old woman,” said Arachne indignantly, “who gave you the right to speak in this way to me . . . If Athene resents my words, let her answer them herself.
  • Athene and Arachne had a weaving compition. Soon there was no sound in the room but the breathing of the onlookers, the whirring of the shuttles, and the creaking of the wooden frames as each pressed the thread up into place or tightened the pegs by which the whole was held straight. Never before had Arachne been matched against anyone whose skill was equal, or even nearly equal to her own.
  • Arachne angered Athene. “Live on, wicked girl,” she said. “Live on and spin, both you and your descendants. When men look at you they may remember that it is not wise to strive with Athene.” At that the body of Arachne shriveled up, and her legs grew tiny, spindly, and distorted. There before the eyes of the spectators hung a little dusty brown spider on a slender thread.
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