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A Tale



The Condor and the Young Girl

The clothing is being made by the women and the shoes are being made by the husband. Even if the household possesses servants, the husband combines leather and wool together and thus creates a suitable protection for the feet. A long time ago a peasant lived near the river Urubamba. He wasn´t very thoughtful and sent his wife and his daughter on bare feet to guard the lamas and working on the field. One day his daughter brought the lamas into the mountains, as usual. The rough ground and the sharp Shallakagrass harmed her vulnerable feet and many wounds increased her pain on each step. Then a man came by, wearing a black Poncho. With compassion in his eyes he watched her.
"You are suffering from great pain", he said.
"Oh yes", the girl replied. "But there is nothing I can do against. My father doesn´t make shoes for me."
"You mustn´t walk this way", he said. "I will carry you and your feet have time to heal again." He lifted her up and carried her around the herd, from here to there and from there to here. They made jokes and they laughed much during the day. At the evening he was very lovingly to her and love was being awakened within her soul. She became his wife. But as her desire was fulfilled she suddenly realized that they were flying! The man had changed into a Condor and carried his loved one to his eyrie high over the glen. After his daughter didn´t return at the evening the peasant went out seeking her. In the mountains he only found the unguarded herd of lamas. Worried about his daughters where about he returned home. The girl in the eyrie was being looked after very well. The bird offered her delicious meals, tender meat from the porpoise, corn wrapped and baked in leafs. He gave her precious stones from below the mountains. Once he even brought colored shells from the gray sea. After one year she gave birth to a child. But she was not feeling lucky. She missed her parents, the house, the herd and her girlfriends from the Ayllu. With a homesick gaze she looked to the horizon, behind which she thought her village. Then a humming-bird was flying past the eyrie.
"K´enti!" she called it. "Fly to my parents and tell them where I live now!"
The humming-bird was moved by her voice and flew to the peasants in the valley of the Urubamba. The parents heard the news from their daughter. The peasant wanted to climb up to the eyrie and free his daughter with the help of others from the village, immediately. But the humming-bird said: "At first you have to catch two toads, which you have to put into the condor´s eyrie. I want to deceive him with them." And so it happened. The peasants caught two toads and climbed up into the mountains. They sneaked near the condor´s eyrie and freed the daughter and her child. The two toads were put in the eyrie. In the meantime the humming-bird told the condor a sad story: "Evil sorcery had changed every woman and every child into toads. Your wife and your child are changed to toads, too!" Full of misbelieve the condor flew to his eyrie only to find two toads croaking in his eyrie. Lonely the condor soared over the glen.
Instead of looking after his daughter and making her shoes the peasant sent her back to the herd on bare feet. With bloody and aching feet she guarded the herd again. And one day this man with the black Poncho appeared again and with compassion in his eyes he watched her.
"You are suffering from great pain", he said.
"Oh yes", the girl replied. "But there is nothing I can do against. My father doesn´t make shoes for me."
"You mustn´t walk this way", he said. "I will carry you and your feet have time to heal again." He lifted her up and carried her around the herd, from here to there and from there to here. They made jokes and they laughed much during the day. At the evening he was very lovingly to her and love was being awakened within her soul. She became his wife. Again her desire was fulfilled and the condor carried her back to his eyrie. The peasant knew exactly where to seek her, when she didn´t return at the evening. At the next morning he and other strong men from the village climbed up the mountain. They were armed with clubs and sang angry songs. They arrived at the eyrie and stopped. They could not free the daughter again. She had wings.

("Andenmärchen", Dietmar H. Melzer, idime Verlag, ISBN 3-924026-13-0, pg. 27-33. Translated by Aufsteigender Adler)


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