Pyramus and Thisbe were Greek children who lived as neighbors in a duplex house in Babylon, Mesopotamia. Kept separate by their parents, they found ways to communicate with each other through cracks in the wall and fell madly in love with each other. When the two had grown up, they eloped: Pyramus directed Thisbe to run to a mulberry bush, outside the city, and wait for him. She did as she was told but, while waiting for him to arrive, a lioness passed by with its jaw all red from the blood of a prior kill. Terrified, Thisbe ran away and hid in a cave.
Shortly thereafter, Pyramus came to the mulberry bush. He found his girlfriend's cloak covered with blood and the footprints of a lioness around it. He naturally thought that the love of his life had been killed and devoured by a lioness. In his distress, he took his sword and pierced his broken heart, splashing blood over the mulberry bush and its flowers whose color changed from white to red forever.
When the surroundings appeared calm, Thisbe returned to the mulberry bush and found Pyramus, her only love, lying on her blood-stained cloak, with a sword struck in his heart. In a feeble voice, he explained what happened. Her sorrow was more than she could take, so she pulled the sword from his chest and planted it into her own heart, dying with him for eternal love.