Sometimes the gods made transformations just to amuse themselves-neither for punishment nor for the protectionof mortals， but just for a little joke.
Narcissus was a youth who was so lovely that he was almost like a girl in his appearance. Like Clytie，he fell in love and pinedwithout eating，day after day.
It was not a beautiful sea nymph whom Narcissus loved，nor a wood nymph，nor a mountain nymph，nor even a Greek maiden.
He fell in love with a face he saw in the water. He thought it was the face of a beautiful water sprite. He stayed at the bank，pleading with the lovely being，begging it to come out of the water and speak to him. Of course，it was only his own face that he saw reflected in the water，but Narcissus did not know it，because he had never seen his face in a mirror.
The nymph Echo loved Narcissus. She hid herself near him and answered as he talked to the face in the water.
Echo would have told Narcissus he was in love with his own reflection，but she was being punished by Juno for talking too much. She could not speak unless someone else spoke first，and then only the same words she had heard.
When he said，"You are beautiful，"Echo replied ever so softly，"You are beautiful，"and poor Narcissus thought it was the water sprite who spoke. When he said"I love you"，the voice answered and，as he reached his arm into the water，instantly the face would vanish.
Then Narcissus thought the water nymph had fled from him. So he would call again and again，watching the water until it grew smooth and the face returned. All the time Echo would answer him in her sweet voice.
Narcissus stayed by the river，growing thinner and more unhappy. The gods came by in different forms and watched him. They listened to the strange conversation between Narcissus and Echo and thought it funny.
They laughed about it together when they gathered on Mount Olympus. Just as a bit of fun，when Narcissus grew so thin that he was ready to die，the gods changed him into a beautiful flower，which leanedforever over the river bank to look at its reflection in the water.