Long ago, there was a poor shepherd called Irieus whose heart was heavy because he had no son. This was his dearest wish.
One day, three men passed by his lonely farm and asked for food. He had a kind heart, but he had nothing to give them but an ox in the barn. Without hesitation, he killed the ox and gave the three strangers the meat to eat. He did not know it, but he had just fed the gods Zeus, Poseidon and Hermes. For his sacrifice and kindness, the gods granted him anything he wanted. Of course, he asked for a son. Orion was born from the skin of the ox and grew up to be a renowned and noble hunter with amazing strength and great bravery.
Unfortunately, Orion also liked the ladies. He was often caught by the other gods pursuing one or another beautiful maiden…and this was his downfall when his wife Artemis killed him as he chased the daughters of Atlas. Paralysed with guilt, Artemis asked the great Zeus to place Orion amongst the stars where he could remain for all eternity. Zeus agreed and placed his hunting dogs near him, and also Taurus, the ox from which he was born.
He can be seen on cold winter nights kneeling in the sky with his raised right arm brandishing a club and holding a shield in his left hand. His sword can be seen gripping the jewels of his belt as they glitter like crystals in the darkness. Nearby, his favourite dog Sirius shines as the brightest star of them all in the ebony blackness of the dark winter sky.