Arethusa was once a fairy maiden huntress. She carriedbow and arrows for Artemis in her hunting. She was sodevoted to her work that she cared for neither admirationnor love. One sunny summer day,she felt hot and found a coolstream quite attractive. She jumped into the delightful streamand happily started swimming. Presently she heard a bubbling in the stream and was surprised to find it was the thunderingvoice of the rivergod Alpheus. The maiden made for the shore and,fully naked,started running away. Taking a human form,the river-god followed closely in pursuit . Onward they spedover hill and valley,across dark heights and over broad plains,until the waters of the western Greek Culture sea lay stretched out right before them . Helplessly the exhausted Arethusa cried to her patronessfor help. Artemis instantly cast a cloud over her body,but the pigheaded Alpheus was not to be tricked. Then a cold sweatbroke from the maiden's arms and legs.
Arethusa, Greek mythology
The drops of water fellfrom all over her body. She had been turned into a spring! Alpheus recognized her new form and presently took his formershape to join with Arethusa and enjoy her company. Artemisthen broke the ground and Arethusa sank down and flowed all the way through the under world from Southern Greece to Sicily . She rose up again at Syracuse,only to find that therivergod had endured the darkness of the lower world andturned up as a stream as well. Mixing his waves with hers,hegained her love in the end.