In Mexico, many children know an old and curious legend of their Mayan ancestors that now you are going to know too.
The story goes that hundreds of years ago deer ran free through the Yucatan Peninsula. Although the place was ideal because it had a fantastic climate and food in abundance, there was something that made them feel unhappy and forced them to live in a continuous state of alert: their own skin, so light and bright in color that it looked great. distance, and therefore, made them easy prey to capture.
One day a young deer was drinking fresh water from a stream. Suddenly, a group of hunters started shooting arrows at him from a nearby hill. Neither hit the target but he, terrified, began a desperate flight. He ran and ran aimlessly, and when he thought they were too close and they were going to catch him, the ground sank under his feet and he fell into the void.
Once he hit bottom he looked up in a daze and realized that he had ended up in a cave hidden in the undergrowth. From that dark and humid place he could hear the voices of his attackers prowling the area, so he tried not to move a muscle, much less make noise. After a while the murmurs grew weaker and he breathed a sigh of relief. There was no doubt that the men thought their game was gone and were giving up!
He was safe, yes, but one of the legs hurt a lot.
– ‘Oh… Oh… What an inopportune twist! … What am I going to do now if I can’t get up to get out of this hole? ‘
Our deer friend did not know that he was in the abode of three good and compassionate geniuses who, upon hearing the groans, came swiftly to his aid.
The oldest man greeted him kindly on behalf of all.
– Hello! I see that by pure chance you have found our humble home. Be welcome!
The poor man felt a bit rushed.
– I apologize for the intrusion, but I was escaping from some hunters and as I passed some bushes I noticed the soft ground and … wham! … I appeared here! I’ve gotten rid of them but I’m hurt!
– Let’s see, where does it hurt?
– Oh, here, on the left leg, next to the hoof!
– Quiet! You stay still, we will take care of everything.
With great care and affection, the three geniuses smeared the damaged leg with an ointment based on wild fruits, perfect to reduce inflammation and soothe pain. They then helped him to lie down on a comfortable mattress and prepared some food for him to regain strength. He found himself so comfortable that he became sleepy and fell asleep like a baby.
The deer received all kinds of attention and pampering for a week until it recovered. Once he was in top shape and without discomfort to walk, he decided that it was time to return to the pack.
– Friends, it’s time for me to go. I will never forget these days in your company! Thank you thank you thank you!
Again, the elder was the one who voiced the sentiment of the little clan.
– It has been a pleasure! We too will always carry you in our hearts and we hope you visit us from time to time. By the way, before you go we want to give you a gift, give you a gift, that’s what we are geniuses for! Tell us… what is your greatest wish, what would you most like to have?
The deer was quiet for a few seconds, to see if he could come up with something really useful.
– Well, the truth is that I don’t need anything material, but I confess that the color of my skin distresses me. I know it is beautiful, but so clear that hunters detect me from far away, as you yourself have been able to see. I would love to walk safely through the woods and lead a relaxed life once and for all.
The old genius agreed and clapped his hands.
– Good choice! You are a very sensible fawn, did you know that? Come on, follow us!
The four of them came out of the cave and the sunlight dazzled them. What a wonder to be able to feel after so many days the warmth and soft spring breeze! The deer took a deep breath to be filled with the scent of the flowers and in full enjoyment heard the voice of another of the geniuses.
– Lie down, we will solve your problem in a jiffy!
The animal dropped onto the fresh green grass, and the geniuses went to work, grabbing dark soil and skilfully rubbing it over its fur. When they finished the task of spreading, they held hands, formed a circle, and prayed for the sun to heat a little stronger. The huge yellow star complied with the request and its rays slowly and gently seared the delicate skin of the animal.
The third genius was the one who indicated that they were done.
– There, you can get up!
The deer found, completely fascinated, that the pearl color of his hair had changed to an elegant shade of tan. The older genius, who was the one who talked the most, informed him about his new situation.
– From now on, you and your companions will wear a skin color much more similar to that of the land you walk on, which will allow you to easily camouflage yourself and prevent enemies from seeing you. Tell us, do you like the result?
– Oh yeah, I love it! This will be life insurance for all members of my species… It’s a wonderful touch! I love you very much!
To show its infinite gratitude, the deer licked the little faces of the geniuses and gave them a very strong hug. Then, without looking back so that they would not see her tears of emotion, she took the path home skirting the vast plain.
This legend says that from that day on, thanks to the gift of good geniuses, deer live much calmer in the incredible lands of the Yucatan.