One day, high on mount Olympus, two sisters were playing a game of Mortal Chess. a favorite game of the Gods.Venus, the Goddess of love, sat waiting as Diana, Goddess of the hunt, pondered her next move. Diana, was holding a favored piece, an Amazonian huntress, full of grace and beauty. She treasured the mortal for her devotion, who always offered her hunt to the Goddess first. Diana guarded her heart jealously for fear of losing the huntress. Would be suitors were turned away in scorn, her mind reserved only for the hunt. Now Venus, who was a jealous God herself, had come up with a plan. She whispered in her son Cupids ear….
The huntress had set out early that morning. Winter was fast approaching and she wanted to be well stocked before the snows came. She threw on a simple white toga, ripped at the thigh to allow free movement. She slid the quiver of arrows, fletched herself, over her shoulder and gathered her bow. It was a beautiful piece she had crafted herself from a yew branch. She walked out of her casa, near the edge of the forest. She stopped at a stream nearby, scooping the cool water with her hands to quench her thirst. It would be a long run.
She took off at a lope, her strides long and graceful. She ran barefoot, foregoing sandals for want of silent movement. Not even the birds stirred when she was on the hunt. Diana had blessed her with uncanny abilities, and she used them well. The perfect hunter.
After running through the forest for most of the morning, she finally spotted animal signs. Bending to one knee to examine them, she smiled in satisfaction. They were Deer tracks, and fresh. Her prey was close, she resumed her run, easily following the tracks. This was the part she loved most, the chase. As the miles melted away, she slowed her pace. Her quarry was near.
She crouched low, Sliding from tree to tree, near invisible to the untrained eye. Spotting a glade, the sun shining through, she pulled her bow from shoulder. Beautiful flowers in full bloom dotted the forest floor, odd for the season. In the middle of the glade, munching on grass, stood her prey; a beautiful doe, serene and vulnerable. The huntress crept, slowly pulling an arrow and notching it as she closed the distance. So close now. She halted her movement and rose. She pulled the arrow back, taking aim. Suddenly, the doe looked up, turning towards the huntress. Still aiming, the huntress inhaled at the sight. Time froze.
Venus smiled across the board at her sister Diana. The goddess of love had tricked the huntress and Diana could do nothing but look on. Finally, she let out a sigh, nodding her head. Cupids arrow flew.
The huntress put her arrow back in its sheath. The doe darted away, into the woods, obscured from view. Seeing her go, the huntress felt regret, not for want of lost quarry, but something deep within her, a feeling she had never had before. Despair overcame her, and she was left wanting.
Suddenly, walking through the glade was a dark skinned maiden.The huntress stared in wonder, her heart leaping. Words couldn’t describe how she felt. Never before had she seen anything so beautiful. She set down her bow on the forest floor and walked towards the maiden, their gazes locked. Without word or thought, they embraced as if longtime lovers. They held one another, their cheeks touching, lost in the moment. Hand in hand they walked from the glade, their hearts beating as one. The huntress would never hunt again, her soul content in her lovers arms, abstaining from all meat, thus becoming the first vegetarians.
Diana handed the huntress piece to her sister Venus, who smiled in triumph. Cupid floated around the room, happy to do his mothers bidding. The goddess of the hunt had mixed feelings. She did not like losing her prized piece but couldn’t help being happy for the two lovers. Watching them embrace, she chuckled to herself, got up from the table, and walked quietly to her room.