The goddess was moved, and uttered oracular speech: 'Leave the temple and with veiled heads and loosened clothes throw behind you the bones of your great mother!'- Ovid, "Metamorphoses"
For a long time they stand there, dumbfounded. Pyrrha is first to break the silence: she refuses to obey the goddess's command. Her lips trembling, she asks for pardon, fearing to offend her mother's spirit by scattering her bones. Meanwhile they reconsider the dark words the oracle gave, and their uncertain meaning, turning them over and over in their minds.
Then Prometheus's son comforted Epimetheus's daughter with quiet words: 'Either this idea is wrong, or, since oracles are godly and never urge evil, our great mother must be the earth: I think the bones she spoke about are stones in the body of the earth. It is these we are told to throw behind us.'
Though the Titan's daughter is stirred by her husband's thoughts, still hope is uncertain: they are both so unsure of the divine promptings; but what harm can it do to try? They descended the steps, covered their heads and loosened their clothes, and threw the stones needed behind them. The stones, and who would believe it if it were not for ancient tradition, began to lose their rigidity and hardness, and after a while softened, and once softened acquired new form. Then after growing, and ripening in nature, a certain likeness to a human shape could be vaguely seen, like marble statues at first inexact and roughly carved. The earthy part, however, wet with moisture, turned to flesh; what was solid and inflexible mutated to bone; the veins stayed veins; and quickly, through the power of the gods, stones the man threw took on the shapes of men, and women were remade from those thrown by the woman. So the toughness of our race, our ability to endure hard labour, and the proof we give of the source from which we are sprung.