I wish… like my ivory girl.
Venus closed her eyes and tried to concentrate. This day was always difficult, when every believer called on her for the blessing of love, but this plea was the one that caught her attention. This prayer, so heartfelt, was unlike anything she felt from a human for centuries. Venus focused even more intently, listening for the voice that caught her attention. It had faded, almost to nothing, but was not gone. The human had not given up hope yet.
“If you can grant all things, you gods, I wish as a bride to have one like my ivory girl.”
It was a man in Cyprus, making his offering to Venus at his festival. But Venus could hear hesitation in his words, and she looked into his thoughts to hear what he was not brave enough to say. She saw this man, Pygmalion, carving stone into the likeness of a woman in his memory. She wasn’t perfect but Pygmalion looked at her as if she were. Venus could see in his memory how his love for his creation grew day by day. Venus saw Pygmalion’s true prayer in his thoughts and in his heart.
I wish as a bride to have my ivory girl.
Impressed by his devotion, Venus granted his wish. She watched as the fire expressed her intent and Pygmalion ran to his statue. His love gave the statue life, as Venus intended, and as long as Pygmalion continued to love her, she would stay alive.
Venus watched as the two began their lives together, pleased with their happiness. She couldn’t see the future, humans rarely did what was expected anyway, but she imagined they would be happy together for many years. While their story would probably not be remembered – and who would believe it, even with the gods?- Venus would remember the man who’s love was strong enough to bring his ivory girl to life.
Author’s Note: This story is based on Pygmalion by the Roman poet Ovid. In this story a sculptor, Pygmalion, carves the likeness of a woman. He falls in love with his sculpture and asks Venus, the goddess of love, for the girl as his wife. Venus answers his prayer and the sculpture comes to life. In this story I changed the point of view from that of Pygmalion to Venus.
Bibliography: “Pygmalion,” Roman myth by Ovid. Web Source.
Image: Photo of Lely’s Venus. Source: Wikimedia