Athena is unique among all of the goddesses for her wisdom, work, and "terrifying purity." Though she is chaste, a maiden goddess, she fosters the development of several heroes as though she were a mother to them. Athena originates in the spiritual history of Athens, her city, dancing like the young women and fighting like the young men; she seems to embody both at once. Her bird is the owl, which can still be heard, and she is also associated with the snake. Herodotus tells the story of the Persians attacking Athens, how the guardian snake would not eat its offering, and the Athenians abandoned the city because it seemed as though Athena had done so (she had not). Both the snake and Athena appear together in numerous pieces of visual art as well. Athena is also associated with the olive tree, and her eyes are even the same sea-gray color of its leaves. This particular tree is intimately linked with the life and prosperity of Athens. When Athena and Poseidon clashed and fought over the city, it was Athena who was victorious. She is, thus, so special to Athenians that they invented the story of her being born by springing directly from Zeus's brain and associated her with "Reason, Light, and Liberty."