I am Selene. I rule the night.
I am the Goddess of the Moon, who steers it through the night sky and gives it my own cold light. My brother Helios is more powerful than I, but even he cannot go where I rule. I can be in his sky, where I am pale and weak, but he can never be in mine. He must quit the sky for a space, and then the sky is mine, and I can be as bright or as pale, and show as little or as much of myself as I please.
The sunflowers follow my brother's path, and the creatures that walk the earth bask in his warmth. He determines the seasons, and the growing things ripen and die at his command. But the tides of the ocean are in my sway, and rise and fall at my command. And every woman capable of giving birth is in my sway. Their own tides of blood rise and fall with me. I am Selene.
And I am hungry.
When I am hungry, I know where to go. I find the shepherd who sleeps in the cave. I saw him once, and fell in love with his beauty. So I bade Zeus to cast a spell over him, that he may sleep forever, and be mine.
Zeus is powerful god, and even has some powers that I lack, but I do not bow before him. I was Selene when he was a stripling god, long before he overthrew the Old Gods. He could not overthrow me. He has no power over me at all, and he has come to realize it over the years. His power grows, but mine does not wane. He claims that he has given his daughter Artemis my domain, but she is there only at my sufferance, and she knows it, and he knows it, too. So I let her hunt in my light, and watch her as she runs naked in the moonlight in pursuit of game. She carries only a great bow, a quiver, and a short sword. I enjoy her presence, her lithe frame, her unwavering will, and her fierce independence. Her flat muscles and small bosom remind me of the body of a young man at the threshold of his puberty, although her form is unquestionably feminine. She stirs the blood of men and women alike, but she permits no man to touch her. Once, she took a man as a lover, but when he proved false to her, she slew him. Hera claims that she deceived Artemis into doing that, but Hera tells that lie only to enhance her own glory. I know the truth, because I was there, and I saw the deed. And I resolved that I would never be held in thrall by a man's lust.
But when I saw the shepherd for the first time, my resolve began to crumble. I felt his life-force, and I yearned to possess it. How well I remember that day! He was tall, muscled like a god himself. His hair fell to his shoulders in a wave of dark curls. His beard was short, and did not hide the fullest lips I had ever seen. His eyes were brown and heavy-lidded, like a satyr's, but where a satyr's eyes show only lust, his showed warmth and humor and compassion. He wore a woolen tunic with a belt, and sandals, and played on the reed pipe as he watched his flock settling down for the night, playing them a lullaby on the reed pipes. I, who am so cold, could feel his warmth. I smelled his scent, and I heard his music, and I wanted him. Not once, but for all time.
Every evening before sunset, I visited him. I beheld his beauty, cherished it, drank it like wine. I looked at his body, shining in my light. The long legs, the large hands, the muscular chest with its thin fur. I listened to the light easy laugh. He was so beautiful. I wanted to possess not only his body but his mind.
So when he slept, I entered his dream. I murmured sweet words in his ear. He did not wake, but he stirred. I blew on his body, and saw the hairs rise. I gave him visions of shapely women, and his penis began to lengthen and thicken. I held him in my mind that way for a long time.
Each evening, I stayed there longer and longer before I left him to resume my circuit in the sky. The mortals noticed that I would rise later and later, and they were afraid. There were times when I did not appear at all. These were the nights I spent with my lover.
It pleased him to have the dreams that made his penis hard, and it pleased me to give him those dreams. So I made them more intense, until he moaned and tossed and turned. And one night, when I could not restrain myself, I surrendered completely to his lust and flooded him with the full force of my love for him. And his penis spat out his seed onto his belly, and softened.
I was trembling -- I, a Goddess! The experience shook me to the core, and I was left helpless. I had, for the first time, tasted lust, and I needed more. And I needed him to give it to me, forever and exclusively.
So I asked Zeus for him. Zeus is a pig. He ruts with any female, mortal or divine. He changes shape to lure them in ... a bull, a swan, a horse, whichever form is most likely to please or surprise or terrify the object of his lust. He breeds gods and demigods as a tomcat breeds kittens. But like any male, he can be seduced, and I seduced him to gain his favor. In the heat of his lust, he promised me one favor, and so I coupled with him. I took the shape of a human female, and he took the shape of a male lion, all gold mane and yellow eyes and great long fangs and a tongue that rasped. Together, we rutted. I took no joy from the union, although I pretended to, to flatter him and make him do my bidding. My only satisfaction was that the son and daughter I would conceive from our tryst would put him deeply in my debt.
Goddesses do not gestate and give birth like mortal women do, not having the impediment of a body made of flesh, and the process is over in a matter of weeks. And I gave him his twins, a female baby and a male lion cub, and reminded him of his vow. He might have done my bidding even without the vow, because it pleased him to think himself powerful and to demonstrate that power, and it was no large task to grant my wish. But I wished to be sure, and so I reminded him of that vow, and he acceded.
And so Endymion fell into a sound sleep, there on the hill surrounded by his flock. I picked him up, and I carried him to the high cave where no men go. The sheep I left, to wander at will until other men came to claim them.