Dec 1, 2010

Deity a Day: Day 7



An oread, "a nymph".

Echo helped cover Zeus' indiscretions among her female friends by chattering and singing to Hera, diverting the latter's attention from her roving spouse.  But Hera was no fool; she guessed what the game was and took away Echo's power of speech.  All the nymph could do was repeat the last syllable of words spoken near her.  Echo fell in love, but being unable to voice her thoughts was spurned by the one she adored.  She faltered and died of grief.  Her bones petrified and only her voice was left, hopelessly repeating the ends of the words she heard.  The object of her love, Narcissus, was himself punished for spurning her.  The gods decreed that he should fall in love with his own reflection.  He happened to catch sight of that in a pool of water; seized by love, he remained there, staring into the pool, until exhaustion and then death overtook him.

From: A Guide to the Gods, compiled by Richard Carlyon

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