In a lush, green forest where animals played and streams sang, there lived a talkative nymph named Echo. She loved to chat with the animals, the trees, and anyone who would listen. But one day, Hera, the queen of the gods, upset with Echo’s chatter, took away her voice, leaving her only able to repeat the last words she heard.
Meanwhile, a young man named Narcissus, known for his extraordinary beauty, roamed the same forest. Narcissus was kind but he cared a little too much about his looks.
One day, Echo saw Narcissus walking through the forest and was instantly captivated. She wanted to call out to him, but she could only repeat what others said.
As Narcissus passed by, Echo softly stepped on a twig, and it snapped. “Who’s there?” Narcissus called out.
“Who’s there?” Echo repeated.
Narcissus looked around, confused. “Come out! Let’s meet!” he said.
“Let’s meet!” Echo joyfully repeated, stepping forward.
But when Narcissus saw Echo, he simply turned away. Heartbroken, Echo retreated into the forest, her voice echoing her sadness.
Narcissus, unaware of Echo’s feelings, continued on his way. He stopped by a clear, still pond to drink some water. As he leaned over, he saw his reflection and was mesmerized by it. “How beautiful,” he whispered.
“How beautiful,” Echo repeated from her hiding place.
Narcissus, thinking his reflection was another person in the pond, fell deeply in love with it. He stayed by the pond, unable to leave the sight of his reflection.
As days passed, Narcissus realized the truth but couldn’t pull himself away. His love for his reflection was so strong that it consumed him.
Meanwhile, Echo, still in love with Narcissus, watched from afar, her heart aching more each day.
Eventually, both Narcissus and Echo faded away, leaving behind only their voices. Narcissus turned into a beautiful flower that bore his name, and Echo’s voice continued to resound through the forest.
The story of Echo and Narcissus reminds us to look beyond ourselves and to listen to those around us, for love and beauty are found not just in reflections but in connections with others.
Also Read: Medusa Before the Curse
Follow Up Questions
- Why do you think Echo could only repeat what others said, and how did that affect her?
- What lesson can we learn from Narcissus and his reflection in the pond?
- If you were in the forest with Echo, what would you say to her?