But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
"Why do you weep?" the Goddesses asked.
"I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.
"Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus," they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand."
"But..... was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked.
"Who better than you to know that?" the Goddesses said
in wonder, "After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each
day to contemplate himself!!"
The lake was silent for some time.
Finally it said:
"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus
was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my
banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty
"What a lovely story," the alchemist thought.
The Prologue from the book, The Alchemist...
© Paulo Coelho