Once upon a time there was a god named Apollo. He was very handsome, and most mortal women would have given their front tooth for just one look at him, but the girls he liked usually did not like him back. This is because the girls he liked were usually nymphs of the forest - mystical creatures that served Artemis faithfully and vowed to never fall in love or be married. One of these nymphs was particularly beautiful and sweet. Her name was Daphne. Her father was a river god, and he loved her very much. He supported her decision to remain unmarried forever, and he liked that she had so much fun playing in the woods with deer and bunnies. She led a pretty wonderful life - until she caught the eye of Apollo, that is.
One day Apollo was cruising around the forest, looking for something to do, when he spotted Eros. Eros, the god of romantic love, had a tiny set of arrows. These arrows had the power to make someone fall in love or to make a person completely disgusted. Apollo had a set of arrows of his own - giant, sharp arrows that could kill even the toughest of beasts. He started making fun of Eros, who got really upset and ran away. Eros saw Daphne hanging out with her bunny-rabbit friends, and came up with a plan. He shot Apollo with an arrow of love, and Daphne with an arrow of revulsion. Then he left and let his magic do its work. Apollo looked for Eros, so he could mock him some more. He didn’t find Eros, but he did see the beautiful Daphne standing in a clearing.
“Whoa,” he said, to himself. “She is pretty.”
So he straightened his toga and ran his hand through his magnificently tousled hair. He put on his brightest, most charming smile. When he felt ready, he sauntered over to her and tried to make some small talk.
“Hey,” he said. “Want to go out sometime?”
“No,” she said. “I don’t.”
Now, Apollo wasn’t used to being turned down. After all, he knew how handsome he was. “Wait, what?”
“I’m in the service of Artemis,” Daphne said. “So go away.”
Apollo was hurt but, more than that, he was intrigued.
“I think I love you,” he said.
“Ewwwwwwww,” Daphne said. She started to walk away. Apollo followed her.
“Marry me,” he said.
“Wait, seriously?” she asked. “Are you nuts?”
“I am,” he said. “For you.”
Daphne, at this point, seriously freaked out. She started running away. Apollo chased after her. Daphne ran down to the river where her father was, and asked him for help.
“Dad, this crazy guy is chasing me,” she said. “He wants me to marry him.”
“You don’t want to?” her father asked.
“No way. I just met the dude and he’s already telling me he loves me.”
“What a weirdo,” her father said.
“I’d seriously rather be a tree than marry that creep,” Daphne said.
“Okay,” her father said. So he turned her into a tree - a beautiful laurel tree with shiny green leaves.
Apollo burst out of the woods a second later, just in time to see Daphne turn into firewood.
“No!” he shouted. It was too late. She was all bark and branches.
“Well,” he said. “If I can’t have you as my wife, I’ll wear you as my hat.”
Then he walked up to the tree and cut off a few of her branches, which he wove into a wreath. He then put the wreath around his head and never took it off ever again.