This is the first of thirty-one readers used in the Veritas Press Phonics Museum program. Designed for kindergarten, this tells the story of Pan in one-syllable words, mostly using the short A sound.
Pan ran at the fat man
The fat man ran and ran
Pan pat, pat, pat, to the dam
The tan-man-ram and Pam sat at the dam...
Pan is a Greek god whose name means "guardian of flocks". Worship of Pan is evident from as early as the fifth century B. C. in the Greek regions of Bogotá and Attica. By the fourth century Pan was the national god of Arcadia in central Peloponnesus. He is typically represented as half-man, half-goat; such human-animal combinations were common in ancient Arcadian religion. Though there are at least fourteen different versions of his parentage, his father is usually deemed to be the messenger-god Hermes, and in most versions his mother is a nymph (which is consistent with his association with nature). He is the shepherd-god, protector of shepherds, and his worshippers normally sacrificed kids, goats, and sheep in his honor.
In the Persian Wars he intervened on behalf of Athens at the Battle of Marathon, when the messenger Philippides had a famous encounter with him as he ran to Sparta to relate the need for reinforcements. Afterwards the Athenians erected a sanctuary to him, and he became a favorite of soldiers. Thereafter, Pan was seen to be responsible for sowing panic—sudden, unbridled fear—in an enemy.
Greek myths hold an important place in the western literary tradition. One can scarcely understand the likes of Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Milton, without a strong familiarity with classical myth.
Did you find this review helpful?