Daphne was the dashing Apollo’s first love. She, however, was an independent, love and marriage hating young huntress. Apollo, upon spying the enchantingly beautiful maiden, fleet of foot and golden hair in disarray, took off in pursuit. With his heart ablaze with desire he found it nevertheless difficult to overtake her. As she felt his breath upon her neck she called in fear to her father the river god Peneus. Immediately, her feet rooted to the earth, bark began to enclose her body and leaves sprang from her limbs and hair. In no time she transformed into a beautiful shiny leafed Laurel tree. Apollo watched in dismay and grief and frustration. Hereafter the laurel branch was always linked with Apollo.