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

5 thoughts on “Week 2 Story: To Answer a Prayer

  1. Hi Margaret! I really enjoyed your take on this story. Some of the little things really make a difference. The italicized words and spacing of sentences like thoughts really add another element to your work. The reversal of point of view was very creative. I mentioned in one of my posts that I found the original version of this story to be a bit creepy. Pygmalion was obsessed with the sculpture. In your version, I don’t get that vibe. He’s just another guy who wants to find love!

  2. Hi Margaret! This is an amazing rendition of the story, telling it from the Goddess’s point of view was very well done. It made me think about Bruce Almighty and how Bruce got tired of everyone’s prayers. I love how you wrote Venus looking into his heart and how she could feel the how he just wanted someone speacial to love and to love him. Very well done.

  3. Hi Margaret! I really enjoyed reading this story – I just finished reading your other story and I love how you always seem to add to the perspective of the gods and goddess of greek mythology rather than the human characters! In many ways they are really the confusing ones to us, humans we understand but no matter how many times I read greek myth the gods always baffle me. In this story you really showed a more empathetic side of Venus – a hard thing to do if you ask me – and I feel like it really added to the story. I mean she is the goddess of love so she can’t be all bad, right? I also really enjoyed the line where you say that the ivory girl wasn’t perfect but that Pygmalion thought she was. That seems not only like something that Venus would think, but also made the story feel a lot sweeter for me. I find the Pygmalion to be a little shallow and creepy but implying that she was not actually perfect but perfect for him helps ease that for me! Great job!

  4. Hey again Margaret. A very well written story here. It all seems to flow so easily and is embracing for the reader. I like how you took the point of view from the Goddess’s, many times they just get overlooked by other characters in the story. The story had so much depth to it. It was a real heart string puller. Good job and I look forward to reading another one of your stories to come.

  5. Hi Margaret! I”ve read this story and several other person’s retelling of it, but I really like this one best! It’s such a unique perspective — I’ve never heard someone use Venus as the voice behind the tale. It’s also interesting to get a divine perspective on Pygmalion’s feelings — all the other versions I’ve read have seemed kind of creepy, but the love story you introduce is much sweeter. Looking forward to reading more from you!

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