One day, looking down from his throne on Mount Olympus, Zeus saw a young boy called Ganymede resting with his friends. Instantly, Zeus fell in love with the boy, the handsomest human ever born. Zeus turned himself into a powerful eagle, flew down upon the world of men and whipped up a fierce tempest, turning day into night. Under cover of the storm, the eagle tenderly seized Ganymede. The aged guardians reached out to stop him, but the god and the boy rose up higher and higher, vanished and in the blink of an eye arrived at Olympus. Zeus took Ganymede to bed and then appointed him cup bearer. But to make room for him, Zeus had to chase away Hebe, his daughter, who served the drinks at the divine feasts. Hera, her mother, went insane with rage. All the other gods rejoiced to have Ganymede among them, for his beauty was delightful.
Ganymede thought pouring nectar to the immortals was delightful, and when he filled his lover’s cup he made sure to press his lips to it first, giving it half a twist as he placed it in Zeus’ hand. On Earth, Ganymede’s father Tros, lord of all Trojans, was crying endless tears. Even Zeus was moved by his pain. He sent down a messenger, who let him know his boy was in Olympus, immortal and forever young. Zeus gave Tros two horses in exchange for his son, deathless and able to walk on water. Hera vented her rage by destroying the Trojans, but Zeus, grateful for Ganymede’s love, made a place for him among the stars as Aquarius – the Water Bearer. He still stands there, beautiful and smiling, pouring nectar and shielded to this day by the wing of the Eagle constellation.