A/N: The first story I ever submitted for and boy, am I proud of it! I know that this myth is rather well known, but for those who don't know the myth, this is the story as I understood it. Please understand that if you read this story and found it somewhat different than what you have known, it is because I have written this story in completely my own words and according to the impression I got after I read it from different sources. And seeing that this is a myth, you cannot really be sure of what really is the 'real' version.
Narcissus and Echo
Once upon a time, there lived a young man named Narcissus. He was very handsome, so handsome in fact that every young man or woman who saw him would fall in love with him. However, Narcissus had no heart and hence loved no one.
One fine day, Narcissus went to a forest for hunting along with his friends. The forest turned out to be very thick and soon Narcissus was separated from his companions and wandering along the thick forest without a hint of his location or how to get out of the forest. In short, Narcissus was completely and utterly lost.
Now, in the very same forest, there lived a nymph named Echo. She was very beautiful like the other nymphs but she had one unique trait; she was unable to speak other than to repeat what other people said due to a curse from goddess Hera for foiling Hera's plan of catching her husband Zeus committing adultery by keeping Hera occupied by her unending chatter. This was very bad for her as she loved talking and listening to her own voice for hours at end.
Back to the story, Echo soon discovered Narcissus wandering through the forest and instantly fell in love with him like the others. However, as she could not speak, she was unable to confess her feelings. So she kept on following him until she could find a way to tell Narcissus about her love.
After some time, Narcissus realised that someone has been following him for quite a long time. He called out just to make sure, 'Anyone here?' Echo was very happy that Narcissus finally spoke and called out from her hiding place, 'Here, Here!' Now that Narcissus was sure that she someone was indeed following him, he called out, 'Come out and reveal yourself now!' hoping that it was just his friends playing a prank on him. Echo however was happy that Narcissus wanted to see her and thinking that Narcissus would reciprocate her love, she stepped out of the trees and arms spread wide, said, 'Come, Come!' Looking at just one more admirer, Narcissus was so disappointed that he was very harsh in his rejection. Echo was so upset at such a harsh rejection that she ran away from the spot, hid in a deep cave and prayed to goddess Aphrodite for her death. Her prayers were answered and she died, but goddess Aphrodite let her voice remain back since she loved it so much and it was the most precious thing to the nymph.
When goddess Nemisis, the goddess who ruins the proud, came to know of this cruelty, she was very angry at Narcissus and cursed him to fall hopelessly in love with his own reflection since he was so proud of his own beauty. When Narcissus gazed at his reflection in the river Styx, he saw a beautiful face staring back at him and fell instantly and totally in love with it and kept gazing at it until he died and wasted away completely.
It is said, on the place where Narcissus died, there grew a beautiful flower. This flower is named after Narcissus. And as for the nymph Echo, it is said that her voice still repeats our words when we are in huge enclosed spaces like the cave where she died so tragically.
End notes: And so is completed the first myth I have ever written. As this one is my favourite of all the myths I have ever read, I just couldn't resist writing this one when I saw that this site has a space for mythology. So, how was it? Good, bad or does it need tiniest bit of extra work? Do review and tell me what you think. Flames too would be accepted and taken seriously as long as they are reasonable and have constructive criticism instead of just fault-finding. If you saw any inaccuracies, you can tell me about that too, I would only be too happy to correct them.
A FYI: While this version is the most popular, there is another version too; according to it, nymph Echo was lusted over by Pan, a very lecherous God and when she rejected his love, he ordered his followers to kill her. The followers tore Echo to pieces and scattered them on the Earth. Gaia(Goddess of the Earth) received the pieces of Echo and from then onwards, Echo's voice keeps repeating the words of others on Earth.
It was also said the nymph Echo had one son with Pan. Don't ask me how it happened when Echo actually rejected Pan; I just remember reading it somewhere though it is not quite relevant here.