Once there was a king who had three daughters. Psyche was the youngest and most beautiful. She was so beautiful that the people in her land began to neglect Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, to worship Psyche instead. Venus became jealous and eventually so angry that she sought revenge. Venus went to her son, Cupid, and asked him to make Psyche fall in love with a hideous monster.
Cupid agreed but upon setting his eyes on Psyche, he fell in love with her. He was unable to carry out his mother’s wishes. Meanwhile, Psyche’s father, the king, was trying to marry her off with her sisters. Unfortunately, no one wanted to marry Psyche because she was too beautiful. The king was very upset and consulted Apollo’s oracle. The Oracle told him to leave Psyche on a mountainside where a serpent would take her away.
On the mountain, Psyche waited patiently in despair. She sat and sat, but the serpent never came for her. Instead, Zephyr, the most gentle of winds, carried her away. In the morning, Psyche awoke. She looked around her and saw a castle. Intrigued, she wandered toward it. As she got closer, Psyche noticed that the palace was empty.
Psyche neared the threshold and was surprised to hear voices calling her name. She entered the palace and listened as the voices directed her about her new home. “We are your servants. Everything you see around you is yours.”
Psyche had everything she had ever wanted, but something was missing, or rather someone. As evening neared, the voices told Psyche that her husband would be returning. He came to her in total darkness, but she wasn’t afraid. Psyche knew that he couldn’t be a monster.
Time passed and Psyche began to miss the companionship of her sisters. She asked her unseen husband if they would come visit her. “They will be nothing but trouble! Be forewarned of their jealous nature.” However, Psyche was very lonely and longed to sit and talk with her older siblings, regardless of their flaws.
Soon Zephyr brought Psyche’s sisters for a little visit. Psyche showed them her beautiful palace and they quickly became jealous. They began to ask questions about her husband and harassed her so much that Psyche admitted she had never seen him.
At that her envious sisters reminded her how the oracle had said she was destined for a terrible serpent. “Just think, Psyche! He could be a horrid creature who is just waiting for you to become comfortable. Then, when you least expect it, he will kill you” “He has made you a prisoner! People say he is a man-eating monster!”
By and by they convinced Psyche that she had to find out who or what her husband really was. Psyche made a plan. Late that night when her husband was sleeping, she armed herself with a knife and lit an oil lamp. Quietly, she crept near him and let the light fall on his sleeping form.
Imagine her surprise when she beheld the most beautiful and charming of the gods, Cupid. Psyche leaned closer to gaze at his face and the lamp began to tip. A drop of hot oil spilled onto Cupid’s shoulder and he awoke. Without a word, he looked at her and left.
Psyche chased after him crying. Upon hearing her cries, Cupid stopped and said, “So this is how you repay my love and devotion to you. I disobeyed my mother, the goddess Venus, for you. Go to your sisters whose words you value more than mine! Love cannot dwell with suspicion.”