The Myth of Echo
The mythical story of Echo
by Lilian Stoughton Hyde
The Myth of Echo
Echo was a nymph who talked too
much. She was very fond of having
the last word. One day she spoke
rudely to the great Juno, who said
that for this offence Echo should
never use her voice again, unless to
repeat what she had just heard, but
since she was so very fond of last
words, she might repeat the last
words of others.
This was almost as bad as if Juno
had changed her into a parrot. Echo
was very much ashamed, and hid
herself in the forest.
a young man who had hair as yellow
as gold and eyes as blue as the sky,
- a very rare thing in Greece, where
most people were very dark, - used
to hunt in the forest where Echo was
hiding. As she was peeping out shyly
from some cave or from behind a
great tree, Echo often saw
Narcissus, and she admired him very
One day Narcissus became separated
from his friends, and hearing
something rustle among the leaves,
he called out, "Who's here?"
"Here," answered Echo.
"Here I am. Come!" said Narcissus.
Picture of Echo
"I am come," said Echo; and, as she
spoke, she came out from among the
When Narcissus saw a stranger,
instead of one of his friends as he
had expected, he looked surprised
and walked quickly away.
After this, Echo never came out and
allowed herself to be seen again,
and in time she faded away till she
became only a voice.
This voice was heard for many, many
years in forests and among
mountains, particularly in caves. In
their solitary walks, hunters often
heard it. Sometimes it mocked the
barking of their dogs; sometimes it
repeated their own last words. It
always had a weird and mournful
sound, and seemed to make lonely
places more lonely still.
The Legend and Myth of Echo