The Child of A Rebel
By: Pie

Far beyond the clutches of mortal civilization, near a pleasant, sparkling mountain river, dwelled a small, yet strong, group of rebel women nymphs. They had been plotting for years revenge on Hera and Zeus, the mother and father gods. After the fate set upon poor Echo by Hera with her jealous rage, all nymphs had sworn to never go near her, lest she sentence them to agony as well. Their simple healing charms were no match for the goddess's power; they wisely decided to just remain out of her way, breaking all contact with Olympus.

One water nymph, who happened to be the sister of Echo, decided one day that this was wrong and unjust. This nymph, Zesa, had a secret, unknown affair with Hephaestus; she was madly in love with him. He fawned and doted all over her, carving her jewelry, hair clips, and anything she wanted. Never before had Zesa ever experienced such attention; she was always the unattractive, unpopular nymph who was the object of all jokes and cruel tricks. When all contact was broken with the gods, she was forced by the elders to lose contact with her love as well, leaving her heartbroken and in the depths of despair.

Zesa gathered up a group of nymphs and they protested to the council about the communication between Olympus and the nymphs. When the Mother Nymph heard this, she screamed in outrage and banished them from the nymph society to a valley between two high, rocky mountains on an uncivilized island. No mortals could see the island, for it was protected by a shield of mystical magic. If their ships got too close to it, an unnoticeable magic tide would gradually drift them in the other direction. Gods could certainly reach the island, overpowering their simple magic with a flick of their wrist, but none knew about it. Hardly any of them would bother coming down there even if they did; most looked down their conceited nosed at nymphs in general. So, there on the baron island they remained: the strong rebel nymphs plotting revenge.

Years passed, and, one day, Zesa had a child. The child, a lively girl, was bright and cheerful, with smoky eyes and blond curls that sprang out of her head into nice, neat locks. The nymphs were horrified,; they had no use for a child! It would only postpone their plans of action further. The named the girl Tramaple, for only trauma would result from her. Off the child went, hidden in the depths of a steep narrow cave in the side of one of the mountains to die. Being stranded on an island had not just corrupted the nymphs' minds, but their hearts as well.

A hawk named Talon, an unknown resident of the island, was very disgruntled one day when she was hunting, her skills weak. Then, aha! She found a meal...or was it? As Talon swooped in closer, she found it was not a jackrabbit, as she thought, but a baby nymph! Tramaple had been found, although she was already sick and weak from dehydration and malnutrition. Talon's motherly instincts kicked in, and she nursed Tramaple to health. Some animals could talk in the days of the gods, but it is a commonly known fact that birds could not. This nymph was secretly raised by Talon in the cave, hidden from her fellow kind. In return, Tramaple hunted for herself and Talon. All was well for them, but the other nymphs, the rebels, were getting angrier and crueler as the years passed, and no punishment was to be found for the Mother Nymph.

Tramaple was a very clever girl, and if the rebels had kept her, they would have found her to be widely resourceful and been able to come up with a suitable revenge. She wondered much about the outside world, and communicated her interest in it to Talon. Talon had little knowledge of either the gods or mortals, so she offered to fly her out off the island to see for herself. Animals, you see, were not affected by the magic barrier and could come and go as they pleased. When a mortal or nymph traveled on a beast, they too could escape. So, Tramaple and Talon left for the unknown.

They got terribly lost in a whirlwind of a storm, and ended up on Olympus itself! It was an uproar; the gods had lost contact with the nymphs so long ago that it was quite a shock to see one, and in the home of the gods, no less! Tramaple was so terrified by all the questions being pounded at her; she had never heard a voice before and could not understand words. She became ashamed and embarrassed of not being able to speak, and her face turned a deep shade of crimson: the first blush of all nymphs and humans. Tramaple was not curious about the outer world anymore; she was petrified! Talon tried to bring her back down to her home, but she fell off the bird's back, unable to move, feet landing hard into the ground. Talon landed on her arm, trying to revive her, but it was too late. Her spirit had died, although her body lives on. Whenever you see her, legs in the ground, arms up, and face a deep crimson all year long, never able to rid the shame the gods placed on her, pay respect to Tramaple, the maple tree, and feel sorrow for her death as petrified wood.