the orchardist in the Underworld
Son of Acheron and Orphne
Askalaphos was the custodian of the orchard of Hades. He told the other gods that Persephone had eaten pomegranate seeds in the Underworld, because she had tasted food in the underworld, Persephone was obliged to return to the Underworld and spend six months there every year.
Demeter was so angry because of this and she buried him beneath a heavy rock in the Underworld. When Herakles went to the underworld, he rolled the stone away and released Askalaphos from his prison but then Demeter transformed Askalaphos into a screech owl.
According to another myth Persephone herself changed him into an owl by sprinkling him with water of the river Phlegethon. As a screech owl, he became the familiar bird of Hades, god of the underworld.
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