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Love of an Animal
I glance to the side of me to see blurs of color and light fly by me. I smell the wine in the air as the screams of laughter rushes up behind me. I turn one more time to catch my foot on a tree's branch. If I lay every still they will run right by me and just keep looking...I laid my head to my warm lush mother, I remember her telling me, " If you listen closely, Echo, you will see them coming through the woods, before they get to you." I slowly turned my head so the side of my face was pressed into the grass and closed my eyes.
I could see them running through the forest, over rivers and mountains. I could see them get closer to me with every breath I took, and with every beat of my heart. I squeezed my eyes tighter when they past the white peach tree, they are almost on top of me. I opened my eyes and saw the dragonfly in front of my nose.
"Hush little dragonfly and I will thank you soon." I took my finger away from my lips and closed my eyes again. The other nymphs ran past me laughing and screaming with Morpheus God of dreams, Son of one of the three Graces and Hypnos, God of Sleep . Morpheus was looking for a wife who was as beautiful, kind, and everything like Zeus' wife ,Hera.
When they all ran past I got up and looked down the path toward the lake, where they headed. I turned the other way to find Paris, son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, staring at me. I gasped and fled to the tree tops, I watched him stand there looking up at me. After quit a long time of him staring at me, Achilles son of the sea nymph Thetis and King Peleus of Thessaly came up behind him and looked at him.
"Young Paris is one of the Wood Nymphs taunting you?" He laughed and looked up to see me hide behind a spot of leaves.
"I am not quite sure Achilles, but this was no ordinary Wood Nymph, she was the most beautiful creator I have ever set eyes upon." Paris put his hand to his heart and looked at Achilles.
"Poor Paris, would you like me to get her down?"
"Could you?" Achilles smiled and stepped forward to see me looking down at them.
"Oh, my dear sweet Wood Nymph, may the roses kiss my lips to wish for a name to speak too?" I jumped down in front of him, standing there and looked behind him at the young prince.
"And to whom wishes to hear the name of mine?" He smiled and took my hand to walk over to Paris.
"Paris Prince of Troy and son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, wishes to hear the name of a sweet flower that has seemed to strike him in his path."
"The name of the flower that has seemed to strike you young Paris is, Echo." I looked behind me to find Syllis, one of Apollo's lovers, running up behind Daphne, Apollo's first love.
"I'm sorry I must go." Before I let the prince say any more I ran off into the trees. I ran past The Naiades.
"Echo, come and swim with us." Bagged Pegaiai and Potameides the freshwater Nymphs Naiades.
"I have to go see Mother." I ran past the mountains that touched the sky and the lakes that touched Mother gently. Finally I came to the Tree of The White Soul.
"Mother, Mother!" I danced my way to the center of the lush green meadow, in front of the White Tree. The wind blew softly and spun my hair out of my face.
"My child?" The wind whispered as it kissed my check.
"Mother there is a boy who has come to the forest." I let my smile slip away and looked down at my hands that were placed in my lap.
"Yes child, I know this to be true. His name is Paris, Prince of Troy..."
"Yes Mother but I fear for him."
"Why would you fear for him?"
"Because I fear he may love me..." Just then the wind picked up and spun the red kissed flowers into a rage, in the middle of them was Mother, she had taken her human form.
"Echo, my darling, why would you fear this gift from Aphrodite?" She placed her hands in mine and helped me up off the ground.
"I fear I will not love him back." She laughed a little bit at this.
"Darling, I have seen what will happen to you and I can tell you, the two of you will share the strongest love out of them all." I grabbed her and held her tight.
"Thank you Mother." I whispered.
"Now, I don't know what you are waiting for go and find him, Go!" I turned and ran off, past the lakes, the mountains, and the Naiades. I ran into Hamadryades, and knowing her she will have seen him if he was still in the forest, but if he was with Achilles he would be.
"Hello Hamadryades, have you seen Paris, The Prince of Troy?"
"Pay with a kiss, and your answer will be given." I pressed my lips to her soft white check and took them away.
"Yes I have seen the young Prince he is by the Lake with Achilles and Limnades."
"Thank you Hamadryades!" I ran down the path to the lake and before I walked on to the warm white sand I stopped. Achilles was talking to Limnades.
"Are you sure you haven't seen Echo, my dear sweet water lily?"
"Yes Achilles, I haven't seen her sense yesterday, she did not come swimming today." They turned and started for the tree line when Limnades spoke again.
"For my truth, a kiss, from the young prince", she demanded. My heart dropped but I knew I did not love him yet but my heart still felt like it dropped to my feet.
"I apologize my darling, but he is in love with Echo, this is why we seek her."
"Well then the apology is mine. A kiss from Achilles then to keep my beauty fresh." He knelt down in front for the wet creator and pressed his lips to hers in a passionate moment it was over. She smiled, giggled and swam off to tell of her tale, of kissing the great Achilles. Achilles smiled and stood up off the ground.
"Achilles what if we don't find her?" Paris looked as if he were about to cry.
"Well my friend we will have to go to the end of the world to find you your happiness." They walked a few feet away from me and stopped.
"Paris..." Paris looked at Achilles and then at me, he froze.
"Is she really standing there or are my eyes taken buy Hades."
"She is really there." Paris walked up to me but hesitantly.
"Hello, Prince of Troy."
"Paris, Please call me Paris."
"Paris." I smiled when I said his name.
"You are not like all the other Nymphs." I looked at him in confusion.
"Of course I am..."
"But you're not, your..... I can't explain it, you're just different." I didn't know if I should take this as an insult or not. I just stood there looking at him.
"I apologize if I make you feel unpleased in any way, Echo"
"Can I show you something?"
"Show me what?"
"My world." I turned to the side to start walking in the direction I had came.
He smiled and looked back at Achilles whom was flirting with Arethusa one of the Water Nymphs.
"I think Achilles can live a while without me beside him." I walked under trees and their leaves with Paris close behind me. I stopped, to walk over to one of the trees and placed my hand on her heart.
"Every tree has a heart," I knelt down and slowly rushed my fingertips over the green grass. "Even the grass has a heartbeat. We are all one in the way of Mother."
"Mother Earth, she is the one responsible for all of this," I spun out on to the path with my hands held up to the sun. "All this beauty and life." I opened my eyes again and looked at Paris, he was staring at me.
"What are you staring at?" I slowly lowered my hands back to my sides.
" Like the witch in the Seas of Enchantment, You have bewitched me, in your spell," He stepped close to me." I see the beauty inside of you like others do not carry inside of them, your lips red as roses and your eyes blue as the sea, but gentle as the wind."
"Like the wind they are mischievous and can carry sorrow on their wings of white. I am strong and can speak my mine but this I cannot tell what I feel." I stepped closer to him as well, so we were barley a few inches apart. " My heart pounds in my chest and my smile cannot give way with my happiness. But I still cannot find my way to your heart." I looked down in embarrassment.
"Beautiful creator, my heart is yours to keep and love with passion," He placed his spring warmed finger under my chin and raised my face. " I saw you not a few hours ago and yet you have stolen my heart when I did not know your name. A whisper of your affections would light my soul like the God Apollo as he looks down upon us." I was quiet for a moment or two.
"Echo, you have stolen my heart and I don't care, I want you to have it. Be my sweetheart, my darling, my everything. Not even Cupid can give a love this strong as I have for you. I love you."
"Oh Paris... I love you too." And in this moment he leaned in close to me and pressed his lips against mine with more passion then I have ever endured. Achilles was walking up the path with Calypso.
"Well... well... well Paris, looks to me as if you got yourself a Nymph." Paris smiled and looked back at me, holding me in his arms close enough to feel his heartbeat.
"No, Achilles not just a Nymph, probably the most beautiful Nymph out of them all." He brushed a strand of hair out of my face and kissed my lips again. We looked back at Achilles and Calypso. She Looked at me, turned and walked off, Achilles just watched her as she did this. Paris, Achilles and I walked back through the forest until we came to a beautiful open field with Nymphs dancing with Gods, Minotaurs, Chirons, and many more animals of the forest. Mother walked up to me and Paris, Achilles knew it was time for him to leave so he went to dance with one of the Nymphs.
"And is this the Prince of Troy?" I smiled at her and slowly slid my hand down his arm and slipped my fingers into his.
"Mother this is Paris." She smiled and took our hands in hers.
"I wish you two to marry. A beautiful celebration is in order, it's not every day you find true love. Come with me Echo, and Paris go with Ouranos. We went our separate ways to get prepared to be Joined in matrimony. Mother took me to the forbidden garden of life where mother and father made the first life and all so many more.
"Mother what are we doing here?" She dropped my hand and walked over to the weeping willow tree.
"Hush Echo!" " Grandmother willow, drop your curtain of beauty and call for your makers." With just one blink, the weeping willows branches came down like a curtain of smoke after a forest fire. The three most beautiful goddesses appeared; Hera, wife and older sister of Zeus, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Artemis the goddess of the hunt and twin sister to Apollo.
"Is this her, the one you have spoken of?" Artemis stepped forward and looked me up and down speaking to Mother.
"Yes this is young Echo, she is to marry Prince Paris tonight and there are some things we need to do." The three goddesses all started to look me up and down seeing my body as the naturalness it had.
"We should start off by picking her voice in nature. Mother, do you know what it is?"
"Yes it's the weeping willow." Artemis called to the animals and gathered them to find branches of fallen, but still good willow trees. Aphrodite gave me a pinch of her beauty, while Hera gave me strength to stand as long as I could. The animals came back and I was finally ready. The curtain raised and I walked with mother and the three goddesses down to the field to have me married. When I walked into the field all eyes were on me and my dress made from the silk of willow worms and my hair done up in a fashion so it looked as if I were a tree. The stars were in my eyes. A soft melody played from the water Nymphs and the creators of the forest stood for me as I walked down the trees isle. Paris was awaiting me as I walked to meet him in front of Father Sky. As I reached him he held out his hand and took mine in his.
"Do you take Echo, to be your Wife, Paris Prince of Troy?"
"I Do" With those words I was his.
"You may kiss your new bride." Paris took his hand and placed it on my lower back, to pull me close to him, with that he passionately kissed my summer rose lips. All around us flowers bloomed in the setting of the sun.
We danced till early morning when the dew was sweet, and the day was at its start. Paris and I walked through the forest and to my Willow tree, my house. When we walked in we fell fast asleep in each other's arms, all was well the birds sang us to sleep and the sun said good morning to our goodnight. We slept all though the day and into the night. I thought I was safe in my loves arms, but, I soon learned to wake up in the meadow of compassion alone. My love was gone. I tried to stand up but I could not get up more than a few inches off the ground. I could not tell what was wrong. I stumbled over to the lake and placed my hand in the water. But to my horrific surprise I did not have hands I had paws, claws, and fur. I looked in the mirror water to find a wolf looking at me. I lay by the water crying into the lake, till my tears over flowed the banks. I lay there for weeks to find a great deal of pain in my heart.
I heard a branch snap, I stood up on all fours and smelled the air. It was my love, it was Paris. I ran to the sound of the branch, I found him, with his bow and arrow. I had quiet forgotten that I was not in my human form and ran straight up to him ,but I stopped dead in my tracks. Calypso was standing behind him with a beautiful baby boy with curly blond hair and eyes of oceans to flow. Paris raised his Bow to me and pulled back...
"Daddy, may I try it this time." The little boy spoke like an angel.
"Not this time son." Calypso smiled and spoke to Paris in a hush tone.
"Do it my love, do it." He pulled back on his bow and let the arrow fly through the air like a breaking heart just then the wind suddenly picked up to blow flower petals all around me. Just as the arrow hit me I felt me stand up, as a human, to end up falling once more...
Paris dropped his bow, and walked over the bleeding corps that was his bride. He had been put under a spell from Calypso, until death do us part. He ran over to me, placing his hand on my heart where the arrow had stunned me.
"I... I... I thought you loved me Paris." I could only whisper but I could see tears running down his face.
"Echo please forgive me, I did not know." He could barely speak, the wind picked up gently again and kissed my check.
"Echo... It's time to come home."
"Echo please don't leave me, I love you please..." The light shine though the clouds, and Mother appeared in front of me. Paris looked at me and then at her.
"No! You cannot take her from me!" Mother looked down at him.
"Paris, Prince of Troy for killing a Nymph I curse you with roaming the earth for all eternity alone and as a wolf never again to touch Echo but only to see." At that moment the flowers blew around Paris and transformed him into a wolf, with that I was gone.
Now whenever there is a full moon Paris sits under the moon and looks up at her beauty, never to touch just to cry her name. But to only find her name being cried back. Calypso had bewitched him on their wedding night and for many years left Echo to live as a wolf. Her son ,Atalanta, now travels the world to find his father just to teach him how to shoot a bow.