Echo was a beautiful Nymph who lived in
the forest. She was so beautiful that everyone would stop to enjoy her
beauty. However, Echo had a problem that when she opened her mouth she
could not keep it closed. When Echo would begin to talk she would go on
talking for hours endlessly and soon her beauty would begin to fade as a result
of her endless jabbering.
One day Echo's incessant babbling angered Hera to such a high
degree that she cursed her so that she would not be able to speak her own
words. Since Echo insisted on always finishing a conversation Hera cursed
her to always repeat the last couple or more words any person said.
Echo then wandered the forest never being able to speak her own
words and always uttering the words of others. A hunter by the name of
Narcissus entered her forest and Echo fell in love with him upon sighting
him. She followed him, and longed for him to utter a few words so that she
may repeat them.
Narcissus walked through the forest and Echo followed him tree
by tree. Echo longed to speak to Narcissus but could say
"Hello" Narcissus said, "Hello"
"Is anybody there?" asked Narcissus, "Is anybody
there?" responded Echo.
In this manner the conversation went on until Narcissus became
fed up and left. Narcissus had no time for the Nymph as he so loved
himself, with a huff he left the beautiful Narcissus by herself in the
forest. Echo turned away in sadness she began to cry knowing that any
attempts to get the man she loved would be hopeless. It is said that the
Nymph Echo became so saddened that she went up a mountain where she turned to
Narcissus went on with his life. He would be nice to
others when they would compliment him or pay him favors, otherwise he would
disregard them. All the gods frowned upon Narcissus and what he done as well as
the life he had chosen to live. The gods felt that Narcissus should be
punished for his vanity.
There came a day when Narcissus had gone out to hunt. He
became thirsty and came upon a pool of water, and bowed down to drink. As
he was about to drink he saw a beautiful man in the water, "his
reflection", smiling at him. Narcissus then smiled back but as he
touched the water the image of the man would disappear as the water would ripple
as a result of his touch.
The gods cursed him to stay at the pool bank and admire his
image. Narcissus stayed at the pool bank for days not eating or drinking
until he finally withered away. The gods then came to take his body away
and brought him to the afterlife. In the place where his body lay a
beautiful flower appeared the Narcissus flower.