According to a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, there once was a virgin princess, a girl so beautiful that she attracted the attention of the lecherous sea god, Poseidon. When sweet words failed to seduce her, the hot-blooded Poseidon attempted to take her by force, and the girl called to the heavens for help. Her plea was answered by the virgin Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, who turned the vulnerable princess into a hard-to-catch crow.
“I was stretching out my arms to the sky,” Crow says, in Ovid’s telling;”those arms began to darken with soft plumage. I tried to lift my cloak from my shoulders but it had turned to feathers with roots deep in my skin. I tried to beat my naked breast with my hands but found that I had neither hands nor naked breast.”
Once airborne, Crow escaped with her virtue intact and entered Athena’s service.1
- Savage, Candace. Crows : Encounters with the Wise Guys. New York: Greystone Books, 2005. Via Ovid’s Metamorphoses. [↩]