Io by Joe Costello.

A beautiful maiden named Io, who was said to be a priestess of Hera, had disturbing dreams of a beautiful Man who took her to be his wife. Through them she learned Zeus wished to deprive her of her virginity. In time, Io told her father, Inachus, who consulted the oracle. Told by the oracle that the king of the gods would show his wrath if not satisfied, Inachus forced his daughter Io to leave his protection.

Wandering in the wilderness alone, Zeus found her.  However, it did not take long for Hera to find her aimless priestess, so Zeus turned her into a heifer cow. Hera, who herself would be known for white arms and bovine eyes, took a fancy to the beast and with more than a drop of suspicion in her veins, insisted her husband give her the animal for a gift.

Zeus could not deny his wife, and gave the heifer cow to Hera.  Hera then assigned Argus, he of the hundred eyes, to guard the Heifer.  When it was time, Zeus sent Hermes to do battle with Argus.  He lulled Argus to sleep and then touched each eye with his cadeuces staff, slaying Argus of the Hundred Eyes. 

Io was freed, but still a cow and not quite safe, because Hera set a gadfly to pester her. Io roamed mile after mile, year after year until she finally came to term. When she reached Egypt, she gave birth. Then hera, the childbirth goddess and Io's former nemesis, released her from her torments.

Meanwhile Hera, loathe to waste such useful eyes as those belonging to the severed head of Argos, took them and inserted them into the tail feathers of her favorite bird, the peacock.

Story of Io by AeschylusEdit

But the high hand
Of Zeus bear hardly on the rein of fate.
And, instantly-even in a moment-mind
And body suffered strange distortion. Horned
Even as ye see me now, and with sharp bite
Of gadfly pricked, with high-flung skip, stark-mad,
I bounded, galloping headlong on, until
I came to the sweet and of the stream
Kerchneian, hard by Lerna's spring. And thither
Argus, the giant herdsman, fierce and fell
As a strong wine unmixed, with hateful cast
Of all his cunning eyes upon the trail,
Gave chase and tracked me down. And there he perished
By violent and sudden doom surprised.
But I with darting sting-the scorpion whip
Of angry Gods-am lashed from land to land.

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