I haven’t always been a tree you know. One minute I’m happily splashing in the river with the other nymphs, the next Apollo turns up, gives me a lecherous wink and I’m fleeing through the forest for my honour. And then Bam! My feet take root in the ground, my arms stretch upwards, and I’m a tree.
“Daphne! How could you do this to me?” Apollo seems cross. Not half as cross as I am. Does he think I did this on purpose? Does he honestly think I want to be a tree? If I could speak I’d be having stern words with my father. I do remember asking him to save me from Apollo, but this isn’t quite the rescue I had in mind. I shake my leaves in disgust.
Pure rage keeps me going for the first few hours. Or is that years? I’m not sure. Time is a bit mixed up these days. Later thoughts turn to my family. My mother will worry when I don’t come home. I wonder if my father will confess?
It hasn’t even worked. Apollo leans against my trunk, playing his wretched lyre and singing love songs. If only I had eyes I would weep.