“It’s a spring, Ivan.”

“No, no, I’m telling you, it’s Niobe, it’s Niobe, weeping for her children. See, she had six daughters…”

“And six sons…”

“And she was ‘I’m better than Leda, what, she only had two kids.'”

“I know, Ivan. And Apollo and Diana killed her children and she turned into a weepy rock and yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I’m telling you, it’s just a spring.”

Ivan runs his hands over the water-stained surface. “No, but see, here’s her face, look, look. You can still see the bridge of her nose, and here, see, it’s her lips. It’s Niobe.”

Chester sighs. “It’s just a rock. You want to see Niobe, okay, you see Niobe. But you remember Ixion?”

Ivan grumbles, “That was real.”

“Ivan, it was a cloud! It was just a cloud! We’ve been over this.”

Ivan kicks at stones.

“Or even if it was a face, that doesn’t mean anything, just somebody carving a famous face into a famous rock. So it’s old. It’s not Niobe, it’s just somebody’s idea of Niobe, somebody who heard the story.”

They move away, still arguing. Niobe remains, blind to all the world, crying, crying, that endless grief…