King Erysichthon was said to be an overzealous mortal king who wanted to build a great feast hall. To do this, he and a group of his men went to cut down some trees. Their target, however, was a sacred grove populated by tree nymphs. The nymphs prayed for Demeter to save their life sources from being destroyed. She came in the guise of an old woman and warned the approaching party to stay away; it was the sacred grove of Demeter.