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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
Damon and Pythias.
By ELLA LYMAN CABOT
From The Book of Stories for the Storyteller by Fanny E. Coe.
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Start of Story
More than two thousand years ago two young men who were intimate
friends lived in Sicily. Their names were Damon and Pythias.
The ruler of the country, named Dionysius, was a cruel man. He put
Pythias in prison and fixed a day for his death. Pythias had done
nothing wrong, but he had angered Dionysius.
The father and mother of Pythias lived far away. "May I go home to bid
my father and mother good-bye, and to arrange my affairs before I
die?" asked Pythias.
The ruler laughed. "That is a strange request," said he. "Of course
you would escape and you would never come back."
At that moment Damon stepped forward. "I am his friend," he said. "I
will stay in prison till Pythias returns."
Then the ruler asked: "What will happen if Pythias does not return?"
"I will die for him," said Damon.
This surprised Dionysius very much. He put Damon in prison and Pythias
went home. Weeks went by and Pythias did not return. At last the day
of execution came, and Damon was led out to be put to death. He said:
"Pythias will come if he is alive. I can trust him absolutely."
Just then soldiers ran up shouting: "Here he comes! Here he comes!"
Yes, there was Pythias, breathless with haste. He had been shipwrecked
on his journey and had been cast ashore many miles away.
Dionysius was greatly moved. "You are both free," said he. "I would
give all I have for one such friend. Will you let me become a friend
to you both?"