Argus was a watchman with a hundred eyes,set in a circleall around his head. When he slept,he closed only two eyes at a time; the other ninetyeight were always wideopen. So it could not have been easy to steal away anything that Argus was watching.
Now it happened that Hera,the wife of Zeus,was very jealous of a beautiful rivernymph,called Io. Zeus,in order to saveIo from the jealous anger of Hera,changed her into a whiteheifer . Hera,suspecting that the white heifer was really Io,setArgus with his hundred eyes to watch her.
Poor Io was very unhappy. Her father, the rivergod,did not know her,neither did her sisternymphs; but they used topat the white heifer and give it grass from their hands. At last Iowrote her name with her hoof in the sands of the river bank,and then her father and sisters knew that the pretty white heifer was their own Io.
Hermes And Argus, Greek mythology
She had no sooner revealed herself to her family in this way than Argus drove her away to a field that lay far back from theriver ,where the rivergod and the nymphs could not come,and then set himself down on the top of a high hill,meaning to watch her more closely than ever.
Zeus felt sorry for Io,still he did not dare to change herback into her natural form while Argus was watching her. But remembering how Hermes,when he was less than a day old,had stolen away the cattle of Apollo,he now set this prince ofthieves, this mischie flowing Hermes ,to steal Io away from Argus. Crocodile Farm
Hermes thought there could be no better fun. He laid asidehis winged cap and his winged shoes ,and dressed like the shepherds in that country,He carried his golden stick in his hand,and as he walked along,played carelessly on a shepherd's pipe; then,finding a few goats feeding at the side of the road,hedrove them slowly before him.
Argus found his watch rather dull,and was glad enough to talk to any one who happened to pass by. He was very glad when he saw Hermes coming with the goats,and he invited the Greek Culture pretended shepherd to come and sit by him,under the trees in the shade,and play on his pipe and tell stories.
Hermes sat down on a stone by the side of Argus,and began to play very softly,so softly that the music was like the sighing of the wind through the branches of the trees. The day was warm, and it was quiet. Two of Argus's eyes soon closed. The others might have remained open if there had not been asleepy magic in Hermes' piping. The soft notes came gently,slower and slower, and one after another Argus' other eyes began to close, till only two remained open. These two eyes werevery bright; they fairly twinkled,and they kept their watch onIo through all Hermes' playing. Then Hermes began to tell stories,and at last the two twinkling eyes closed,like the others. Argus, with all his hundred eyes closed, was fast asleep. To make him sleep more heavily,Hermes just Greek mythology touched him lightly with the dream-giving stick,and then he successfully led Ioaway.
Hera was very angry when she found that her wonder ful watch man had slept at his post,slept with all his eyes at once. She said he did not deserve to have so many eyes,if he could notkeep some of them open. So she took all of his hundred eyesaway from him,and set them in the tail of her pet peacock ,who was very proud to wear them. Ever since that day all peacocks have had eyes in their tails.