One golden afternoon, Persephone was chasing butterflies as they flitted from blossom to blossom in a sun-dappled meadow. Suddenly, she heard a deep rending and roaring sound. The hillside in front of her split apart, and from out of the opening there thundered a great chariot. Before the terrified girl had a chance to turn and run, the driver had scooped her up, swung the chariot round and driven it back through the cleft in the hillside.
Hades, the King of the Underworld, had claimed his queen.
‘Persephone has eaten fruit from my kingdom,’ Hades explained to Zeus. ‘It is ordained that all who have tasted the food of hell must return. She has tasted six pomegranate seeds so she must come back to me for six months of every year.’
The world had found a new rhythm.