Image Credit: Nicolas-René Jollain – Hyacinthe Changé en Fleur
I will not allow a “doxxer” to threaten me with exposure (translation: lies).
So, I’m coming clean. I’ll tell you exactly what happened in my history—how it all “went down”, as you mortals are fond of saying.
Besides, it’s about time the mythological record was corrected…
My husband, Zephyrus, raped me.
FALSE: Your mortal poet, Ovid—who called me “Flora”—incorrectly attributed to me in his Fasti V. 205: vim tamen emendat dando mihi nomina nuptae (translation: Yet he made amends for the rape by bestowing on me the title of bride).
Nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, Zephyrus pursued me with a passion. Yes, I ran at first (I mean, what would you do if the gentle, handsome God of the West Wind blew right by you—and at you—captivating you with his soft, caressing wind?
But once I looked into his eyes, I was his. You mortals say that there’s no such thing as “love at first sight”—that such notions are corny or unrealistic—but I’ll tell you this: your jadedness is but one reason you need the Immortals back into your life.
But I digress…
I killed Hyacinthus because Zephyrus was having an affair with him.
FALSE: Hubby was friends with Hyacinthus, sure. He was also friends with Apollo—Hyacinthus’ lover. And no, Zephyrus did not blow a westerly wind so that the discus would hit Hyacinth in the head, in the hopes of killing. In actuality, Apollo was teaching Hyacinthus to play quoits (it’s sort of like your mortal game of “horseshoes”). Then, they decided to take turns throwing the discus. Wanting to impress his lover, young Hyacinth ran after the discus that Apollo threw—trying to catch it with his speed. A wind did blow (but it was from my brother-in-law, Boreas—God of the North Wind), and affected the trajectory of the discus. And no, it wasn’t on purpose! It was all an accident.
A tragic, tragic accident.
But I did turn Hyacinthus into the flower that bears his name. (If ever a god or mortal is turned into a flower, it is I who have done it—regardless of what tales you’ve heard. But how…that’s what most of your stories, your “mythologies” get wrong). Both Zephyrus and I grieved for Apollo’s loss, and I chose to honor him with a gorgeous, fragrant flower…the hyacinth.
So, yes—Ovid did get this part right: I [Chloris] was the first to make a flower out of Therapnaean blood [i.e. Hyacinthus of Therapne]…
I turned Narcissus into a flower.
TRUE: No, you won’t find mention of me in any of your “stories” about Narcissus…but I was there. Zephyrus and I were lounging nearby, basking in the warm spring weather, when a loud keening ripped through the air. We thought, perhaps, that a baby animal was lost—or worse, injured. We quickly rose to look for the poor creature. Getting very close to the pitiful sound, we parted some high-grown grass.
What we saw astounded us: a beautiful young man kneeling beside a pool of water, crying in despair.
“What is wrong?” I asked.
He told us that he was obsessed with the “man in the water”, the most “gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen”—and lamented that every time he tried to embrace him, the figure disappeared…leaving him with an armful of water.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Narcissus,” he replied.
Well, I had to break the news to him.
I mean, someone had to.
For crying out loud—falling in love with a reflection of yourself!
He wailed even louder when the truth went from my mouth to his ears.
“I cannot leave this pool. I simply cannot,” he said, tears streaming down his face.
At the time, I knew not of Narcissus’ “backstory”—of his selfishness and cruelty to both Ameinias and Echo.
“Look, son,” said Zephyrus, “if you don’t leave this pool, you’ll starve to death. Or worse, get bit by the viper Ochia, charged by a boar, or attacked by a wolf.”
Narcissus looked back at his reflection. He attempted one last hug, fell into the water and laid there–immovable.
It all happened so fast.
Saddened by this confused, young soul, I turned him into a flower.
Narcissus pseudonarcissus.You know him better as the daffodil.
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