Jumat, 07 Januari 2011

[Story] Echo and Narcissus

There was a young woman whose name was Echo. She was very pretty, but she had one bad habit. She was a real chatterbox: she talked all the time! At that time the chief god on Mount Olympus was Zeus. His wife, Hera, didn’t like Echo because she thought the girl was too talkative. “It’s so tiring to hear her talk, talk, talk all the time,” Hera told herself. “I have to do something about it.” Since she was a goddess, she was able to put a spell on Echo. “Echo,” she said, “from now on, you will never be able to speak first. You can only repeat the last word or words that others say to you.” Of course Echo was very sad when she found out she couldn’t say as much as before any more. In fact, the little that she could say was really nothing, because it was only a repetition of the last part of what someone else had said. But there was nothing she could do about it.

In the same village where Echo lived, there was a young hunter called Narcissus, who was so handsome that all the young girls in the village were in love with him. But Narcissus was a strange sort of person. Instead of being pleased with so much female attention, he felt bothered. He tried to avoid the girls as much as possible. Like all the other young women in the village, Echo also fell in love with Narcissus, but the poor girl couldn’t tell him how much she loved him.

One day she saw him going to the woods to hunt. She secretly followed him. When she accidentally stepped on a dry twig, it crackled under her feet. Narcissus turned around, but couldn’t see anyone because Echo was hiding behind a tree. “Is someone following me?” he called.

“Me!... Me!” answered Echo, who could only repeat what he said.

“Whoever you are, don’t come near me!” Narcissus called again.

“Come near me!... Come near me!” replied Echo.

“Oh come on, you think I love you?”

“I love you!... I love you!” repeated Echo. When Narcissus heard these words, he thought it was one of the village girls chasing him. So he ran away. He ran so fast that Echo couldn’t catch up with him. Feeling very sad, she finally entered a deep cave where she lay herself down. Slowly her body withered away, leaving only her voice. People who visit this cave still can hear her when they call her.

Meanwhile, the gods on Mount Olympus were a little upset about Narcissus’s insensitive nature and decided to teach him a lesson. “He must know how it feels to love someone without being loved back,” they said. So one day they made Narcissus feel very thirsty. He knelt down at the edge of a pool to drink.

When he bent down to scoop up some water with his hand, he saw a very handsome man with beautiful blond hair staring back at him from the water. Narcissus didn’t know that he was actually looking at his own reflection in the pool. He stared and stared and couldn’t get enough of admiring who he thought was the loveliest person he’d ever seen. Narcissus has fallen in love with himself! He tried to reach out for that beautiful face, but when his hand touched the water, the face disappeared!


“Please stay!” he cried in vain. Again and again, the face went away before he could touch it. “Is this how the girls feel when I run away from them?” he asked himself, feeling the burning pain in his heart. Narcissus was so sad that he wouldn’t leave the pool. He stayed there until he wasted away. In the end nothing was left of him, but on the spot where he had been pining for his love, there grew a beautiful white flower. Today, these flowers are well known in many parts of the world. People will point at such a flower and say, “That’s a narcissus.”

Source: Contact Magazine Volume 6 No. 34, February - March 1999




Chatterbox: talkative person: somebody who talks a lot, especially about unimportant things.

Talkative: inclined to excessive talking: tending to talk readily and at length.

Put a spell (on someone): control someone by magic.

Repetition: the process of saying something again.

Bothered: to feel worried, anxious, or upset.

Wither away: become weak (and dry) and dissapeared or die in the end.

Edge: a line or area that is the outermost part or the part farthest away from the center of something.

Scoop up: to remove an amount of a liquid or solid substance with a scoop or similar object, or a cupped hand.

Admiring: full of admiration for somebody or something.

Disappeared: to be gone from or no longer be seen in a place without any explanation.

Vain: unsuccessful: failing to have or unlikely to have the intended or desired result.

Pining for: desiring very much.

Note: I suddenly remember this story because my friend, Ladida, wrote something about. 'The Legend of Narcissus' Check his post HERE.


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2 comments:

Ladida's Blog mengatakan...

wowww . , I like the story . , yeah . , I enjoy it . ,

so my article and yours there are some relationship right ?? maybe just a litle but I think this story is unique and enjoyable . ,

#maaf kalo salah inggrisnya hehehee

Heni Puspita mengatakan...

Basically, your post reminds me of this story so I decided to post this. Yeah, it's unique. Based on this story, we know where the word 'echo' comes from. Before I read this story, I didn't know that there's a flower named Narcissus :P

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