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The Tale of Bausis & Philemon

A Tale from Greece

Zeus, the king of Mount. Olympus, came down to visit the country folk disguised as a beggar. People turned him away until he came to the house of a poor elderly couple, Bausis and Philemon. Bausis and Philemon shared their simple meal of bread and wine with their guest. Oddly enough, the wine jug never emptied and there was more bread after each slice was cut. It was then that Bausis and Philemon realized that this was no ordinary visitor, but a god from Mount Olympus.

They bowed low and apologized for the simple food they had to offer. Zeus replied, "When you have shared your best, there is never a need to apologize."

In return for their generosity, Zeus granted them their only wish: to remain together always. and so when Bausis and Philemon died, an oak and a linden tree grew with their trunks entwined around each other, on the spot where the couple was buried.

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