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was the mortal son of Jupiter, and the most beloved of all the god's illegitimate children
. He was the only mortal to be invited to the banquets the gods would throw for no reason, and he alone among mortals was allowed to taste the nectar
that was reserved for the gods. But then he went and did something cruel, inhuman, and downright disgusting. He took his son, chopped him up, and made a stew out of the pieces. When he served this to the gods, they were mortified and turned on Tantalus
. He was doomed for all eternity to stand in a pool in the Underworld. Whenever he would bend down to drink, the water receded. When he reached up for fruit, the branches pulled away. As for his son, they put the poor kid back together, minus a shoulder (which Venus accidentaly ate), but an ivory one was built for him. He went on to live a normal life.
The same can not be said for Niobe. At first she seemed happy. She and her husband lived in Thebes, which her husband had fortified by enticing the stones into place with lyre music. But unfortunetly, Niobe inherited her father Tantalus's foolishness. She boasted that she was greater than the goddess Leto, saying that she had far more children (fourteen!) and that she, Niobe, had great power. Naturally the gods didn't like this. The children of Leto, Artemis and Apollo swooped down and killed all of Niobe's children. Niobe fell to her knees sobbing, and as she did, she turned into a stone, one that would always be covered in wet tears.