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Actaeon

Once hunted Actaeon with his comrades in the forests of Kiferon. It was a hot afternoon. The weary hunters settled down to rest in the shade of a dense forest, and the young Actaeon, separating from them, went to look for coolness in the valleys of Kiferon. He went out to the green, blooming Gargafia Valley, dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Sycamores, myrtles and firs grew luxuriantly in the valley; slender cypresses rose like dark arrows on it, and the green grass was full of flowers. A clear stream gurgled in the valley. Silence, peace and coolness reigned everywhere. In the steep slope of the mountain, Actaeon saw a charming grotto, all wrapped in greenery. He went to this grotto, not knowing that the grotto often serves as a resting place for the daughter of Zeus, Artemis.

When Actaeon approached the grotto, Artemis had just entered it. She gave the bow and arrows to one of the nymphs and was preparing for bathing. The nymphs took off the goddess's sandals, tied her hair in a knot, and were about to go to the stream to scoop up cold water, when Actaeon appeared at the entrance to the grotto. The nymphs screamed loudly when they saw Actaeon enter. They have surrounded Artemis, they want to hide her from the sight of a mortal. Just as the rising sun ignites the clouds with purple fire, so the goddess's face flushed with anger, her eyes flashed with anger, and she became even more beautiful. Artemis was angry that Actaeon had disturbed her peace, in anger Artemis turned the unfortunate Actaeon into a slender deer.

Branched horns grew on Actaeon's head. The legs and arms turned into the legs of a deer. His neck stretched out, his ears pointed, and spotted fur covered his entire body. The timid deer turned into a hasty flight. Actaeon saw his reflection in the stream. He wants to exclaim: "Oh, woe!" - but he does not have the gift of speech. Tears rolled from his eyes-but from the eyes of a deer. Only the human mind remained with him. What should he do? Where to run?

Actaeon's dogs sensed the deer's trail; they did not recognize their master and rushed after him with furious barking.

Through the valleys, through the gorges of Kiferon, along the rapids of the mountains, through forests and fields, a beautiful deer was rushing like the wind, with branched horns thrown on its back, and dogs were racing after it. The dogs were getting closer and closer, so they overtook him, and their sharp teeth bit into the body of the unfortunate Actaeon-deer. Actaeon wants to shout: "Oh, have mercy! After all, it's me, Actaeon, your master!"- but only a moan escapes from the deer's chest, and the sound of a man's voice is heard in this moan. An Actaeon deer fell to its knees. Grief, horror and pleading are visible in his eyes. Death is inevitable, - the enraged dogs tear his body apart.

Actaeon's comrades, who arrived in time, regretted that he was not with them with such a happy catch. The wonderful deer was hunted by dogs. Actaeon's comrades did not know who this deer was. Thus died Actaeon, who disturbed the peace of the goddess Artemis, the only mortal who saw the heavenly beauty of the daughter of the thunderer Zeus and Latons.