One story led to another, and another, leading to a mythical tale of our land: “Cutz, woodland turkey,” recorded in the research “The myths about the birds in the state of Yucatán,” by the authors Carlos Augusto Evia Cervantes and Herbert Francisco Ciau Yah.
Here it is told that the Great Spirit, tired of the constant quarrels between the birds, decided to call an assembly to determine who would govern all the rest. They all felt they deserved this important election.
Dzul Cutz (the peacock), ambitious by nature, felt proud of his slimness; but he was aware of the minimal beauty of his plumage. He decided to convince Puhuy (the highway messenger) to lend him his plumage, arguing that his tiny size would leave him with his own elegance. As well, he promised that, dressed as the king of the birds, he would share the riches of the kingdom.
Puhuy ended up accepting. He stripped off his feathers, and Cutz adjusted them on his svelte body, and was soon showing off his exquisite suit with the long tail, in which shone the lapis lazuli of the Maya sky, the jade of the sacred serpent, and the live colors of the tropical twilight.
In this way, strutting with his wings slightly tilted to the sides and his head held up high, Dzul Cutz entered the place where all the birds of the Mayab were gathered for the election. Surprise reigned. The Great Spirit was pleased with the marvelous change, and proclaimed him king of all the birds.
A group of birds, noting Puhuy’s absence from the assembly, began a search. They finally found him under a bush, shivering with cold and almost dead of hunger. Then they learned what happened, and all the birds of the Mayab wrote a letter to the Great Spirit, asking that the peacock be duly punished.
That is why, every time the peacock opens his beak, instead of the melodious song of earlier times, a strident and disagreeable sound comes forth, that gives rise to taunts from everyone around.
Text by: YurinaFernández Noa
Email: [email protected]
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