A long time ago, in ancient Greece, there lived a goddess named Demeter, and her daughter, Persephone. Demeter's job was to keep the earth beautiful and healthy for all that lived there. This was easy for her because she loved her daughter with all of her heart, and wanted her to live in a beautiful world.
Until one day, when Persephone was exploring, she ran into Hades, god of the Underworld. Persephone began to laugh and play with Hades dog. In seeing this, the lonely and miserable hades instantly fell in love with the sweet young goddess.
Hades kidnapped Persephone and brought her down to the underworld to be his wife forever. Meanwhile, Demeter was heartbroken, and everything on Earth began to die.
In hearing this horrible news, Zeus, king of the gods, sent his son, Hermes to try to negotiate with Hades.
Hades made a deal with Hermes. He agreed that he would let her go back up to be with her family for half the year, only if she would return to him for the other half. Persephone agreed.
Now, every spring, Demeter grows beautiful flowers to welcome her daughter home. When she must leave again, Demeter is sad and the earth grows gloomy. According to the Greeks, this is the reason for the seasons.