Kostas and Eleni live near Paphos on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is near
Greece and Turkey. Part of the island is Greek, the other part is Turkish. There
is a "buffer" zone between the two parts.
Paphos is a very famous city
in southern Cyprus. It
is said that the beautiful goddess Aphrodite rose from the sea near Paphos.
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. There are many gods and
goddesses in Cypriot legends.
Kostas and Eleni have a
small farm. They raise sheep and grow apples and other vegetables. One day
Kostas went into the forest to cut some wood for a fire. As he was using his axe
to cut a tree, the axe slipped from his hands and fell into the river. Kostas
was very sad. He knew he was too poor to buy another axe.
The god who lived in the river felt sorry for Kostas. He got a golden axe and
gave it to Kostas. "This is your axe." the god of the river told the farmer.
Kostas replied honestly, "No, No that is not my axe."
So the river god went back into the river and got a silver axe. "This is
your axe." the god of the river told the farmer. Again, Kostas told the
"No, No that is not my axe."
The river god then went back into the river
again. This time he brought Kostas his old axe. "This is your axe." the god
of the river told the farmer. Kostas was very happy, "Yes, Yes that is my axe."
The river god then went back into the river once more. He brought out the gold axe
and silver axe again. "These are all yours. You are an honest and truthful man." The farmer ran back to the village.
He told Eleni and all his friends what happened. He showed them the gold and
A greedy farmer, named Ares, saw the golden axe and decided to
get one for himself. Early the next morning, he threw his axe into the river. He
pretended to be very sad about losing his axe.
The river god asked the farmer why he was sad. Ares replied,
"I lost my only axe, and I am too poor to buy another one."
The river god went into the river. He got a golden axe and gave it to Kostas. "This is your axe,"
he told Ares.
Ares was happy, "Yes, Yes that is my axe." The
river god got mad and told Ares, "No this is not your axe, you are not being
The river god went back into the river. He did not let Ares keep
any of the axes.
And this is how the villagers learned that they should be honest
and tell the truth.