Smylla was an island kingdom known for two things: its bustling maritime trade economy and its beautiful women. Chief among these women was the daughter of the king. She was named Eurythymae. Eurythymae led all of the young women of the island in a resolution not to marry, for they had all dedicated themselves to Artemis, the virgin huntress. There had not been a marriage on Smylla for several years.
These maidens, all more beautiful than the next, drove all the men of the island near crazy with lust. Chief among the men was a clever shepherd named Croesus. Croesus, in a fever of desire, made sacrifice of a prize member of his herd to the goddess Aphrodite, in hopes that the goddess would help him to accomplish his goal regarding the beautiful women of Smylla.
Aphrodite, as powerful as any god, in her own way, was jealous of Eurythymae's beauty. She decided to help. And this is how:
Smylla, being a prominent seaport, took in ships from all over the world and had first pick of all sorts of exotic goods, produce and beasts. Eurythymae had grown fond of the monkeys that sailors would bring from Asia and Africa and had gotten her father to buy enough to fill the forests of the little island kingdom. These monkeys were heard and seen throughout the forests of the kingdom and the women petted them and indulged them with kindness and affection.
Aphrodite came to Croesus in a dream and had him sneak to the glade where all the maidens of Smylla bathed in the afternoon. The lake was sacred to Artemis and therefore, all men were forbidden to trespass at the cost of their lives. The happy sounds of the naked maidens were a particular torment to the young men of the island, as they could all hear the beautiful women splashing and laughing, every afternoon, and could only imagine the wonders of all that naked play.
Croesus came down, hiding, into the glade. From behind a bush, he spied on Eurythymae and her friends and was seized by a lust so strong it overwhelmed his senses. He climbed into a willow tree to get a better look and found the branches surprisingly easy to navigate. Hanging over the clear water, he saw his reflection in the pool and found, to his surprise, that he had been transformed into a monkey! He was so surprised that he lost his grip in the willow and fell into the lake. Croesus panicked at this point: he had trespassed the sacred lake of Artemis (punishable by death) and he could not swim! His new fur weighed him down and he sank. All his hopes were lost and, as his lungs filled with the virginal waters, he cursed his lust.