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Echo

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Thousands of years ago the people told strange stories to one another, and believed many strange things. The believed that in all the woods and streams and hills and hollows(中空,凹陷处) lived fair creatures, and they called these creatures nymphs. These nymphs were fair and beautiful, and they loved beautiful flowers and murmuring brooks.

 

The fairest of them all was Echo, and her voice was the sweetest. But one day Echo displeased Queen Juno. "Like, but you shall have nothing else. You shall never speak first. You can only answer when others speak to you." Poor Echo! She became thin and pale, and thinner and paler, until at last Queen Juno's word came. Only her voice was left.

 

She wandered from place to place in the woods, unseen, and heard only when others spoke. On a quiet evening you may hear her, if you walk near some high rock where she loves to hide. Call to her, and she will answer, "Where are you?" you may ask. "-- You?" she will reply. "Are you Echo?" you may ask. "-- Echo?" she answers. "Come to me!" you cry. "-- me!" she replies. "I like you," you say to her. "-- you," Echo repeats.

 

Now a very curious thing is true. Echo always answers in the same tone in which you speak to her. If you sing, she sings back to you. If you shout, she shouts to you again. If you cry, she cries, too. If you are cross and ill natured, she will be cross and ill natured, too. 

 

Two brothers once went into the woods to find Echo. They could not hear her voice, although they called and called. At last one of them cried impatiently, "You are a mean old cheat!" Quick as thought came back the cross reply, "-- cheat!" The other boy cried quickly, " He didn't mean that." The same tone came back in Echo' "-- that." When the boys told their mother what had happened, she smiled, and said, "That happens, the world over. Gentle words will bring forth gentle words, and harsh tones will be echoed by harsh tones."


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