"Yes, child," answered Mother Ceres. "The sea nymphs are good creatures, and will never lead you into any harm.
"Mother, Mother Ceres!" cried she, all in a tremble.
Indeed, it is most probable that Ceres was then a thousand miles off, making the corn grow in some far distant country.
Who, but Mother Ceres, making the corn grow, and too busy to notice the golden chariot as it went rattling along.
But my story must now clamber out of King Pluto's dominions, and see what Mother Ceres had been about, since she was bereft of her daughter.
Of all the child's outcries, this last shriek was the only one that reached the ears of Mother Ceres. She had mistaken the rumbling of the chariot wheels for a peal of thunder, and imagined that a shower was coming up, and that it would assist her in making the corn grow.
The pair of dragons must have had very nimble wings; for, in less than an hour, Mother Ceres had alighted at the door of her home, and found it empty.
"Where is Proserpina?" cried Ceres. "Where is my child?
"O, no, good Mother Ceres," said the innocent sea nymphs, tossing back their green ringlets, and looking her in the face.
Ceres scarcely waited to hear what the nymphs had to say, before she hurried off to make inquiries all through the neighborhood.
"Ha!" thought Mother Ceres, examining it by torchlight.
All night long, at the door of every cottage and farm-house, Ceres knocked, and called up the weary laborers to inquire if they had seen her child; and they stood, gaping and half- asleep, at the threshold, and answered her pityingly, and besought her to come in and rest.