Hera, the beautiful queen of Olympus, was a very jealous wife and she loathed all of the women her frolicsome husband courted. Even Zeus, who was afraid of nothing, feared the fits of temper she often had when she realized what her husband was doing. Once she tried revenge on Zeus, but was severely punished. So the result of that was she incurred all of her wrath on the maids whom Zeus courted.
Zeus loved his wife but he often preferred rocky Greece to his home, and went down to earth to court people in Greece. Hera was always aware of what her husband was doing, but Zeus often changed into different phenomena or animals.
One day Hera looked down from Olympus and saw a small rain cloud covering a small area. Zeus sometimes created clouds that blocked Hera's view, so she was unable to see what he or the maid were doing. Well, Hera went straight down to earth . Zeus saw Hera coming to him and he quickly changed the maid, whose name was Io, to a snow white cow. Hera broke through the cloud and went into it, but all she found was her husband sitting there with a heifer. Alas! The cow was too beautiful and Hera was not deceived . So she asked for the cow and she knew if Zeus refused, then the game was up. Zeus was forced to hand over the girl/heifer.
Hera tied Io to a tree and ordered her servant, the Argus to watch Io. Argus had a hundred eyes and closed only half when he was sleeping to watch Io. Argus sat down and he watched Io with all of his eyes. Poor Io was forced to graze on grass. Io raised her head in mourning to Olympus, but Zeus was too afraid of Hera to do anything. Finally Zeus could bear her sorrow no longer and he sent his son, Hermes, the craftiest of all gods to set Io free.
Hermes went down to Earth disguised as a shepherd and walked up to Argus, playing a tune. Argus told Hermes to come and sit by him and play a tune for him. This is what Hermes had hoped to happen. So Hermes sat down and he began to play on the pipe he had invented. Hermes began telling a long and very boring story. Soon Argus's eyes began to close and then Hermes shut them forever with his wand. One by one all of his eyes shut and Hermes quickly shut them all. Argus had been bored to death. When Hera realized what had happened to her favorite servant, she put Argus's eyes on her favorite bird, the peacock. Hermes then untied Io and set her free. Io ran home to her father, the river god Inachos. He did not recognize the cow as his daughter. Io could not say anything besides "moo". When she lifted her little hoof and wrote her name in the sand by the river, "I-O", her father at once understood what had happened, for he knew the ways of Zeus. He flew out of the river bed in a rage and rushed off to take revenge upon the mighty thunder-god. Zeus saw the god coming at him in such a rage that Zeus had to throw a lightning bolt to save himself. Ever since then the bed of the river Inachos in Acadia has been dry. Anyway, Hera was still pretty mad and she sent a gad fly to sting Io, who was forced to run all the way to Egypt where the Egyptians found her. They killed the gad fly and they adorned her with flowers, for they thought Io was a god coming to Earth. So Io ended up happy, but not like some of the other maids.