Adaptation of a legend from the Mayan culture
An ancient legend tells that thousands of years ago, when there was still no human being, there was a jaguar to which something very special happened. Do you want to know its history?
It seems that the animal was fully happy because it was in good physical shape, it had plenty of food at its fingertips, and it got along wonderfully with the other animals; Furthermore, he was grateful to be able to wake up every morning in one of the most beautiful places one could imagine: the wonderful Yucatan Peninsula.
Like any good feline, he loved to walk through the forest wrapped in the darkness of the night and climb the mountain during the day, but without a doubt his favorite hobby was licking his own fur, as yellow and bright as the sun itself. It was essential for him to keep it clean, not only to feel more handsome and neater, but also because he was aware that he aroused enormous admiration. Yes, he showed off a bit of blonde hair, but he was so proud of it that he couldn’t help it!
One summer afternoon he was dozing under an avocado tree when he was suddenly startled by the strange noises above his head.
– What was that? … Who goes around disturbing the rest of others?
He looked up and was surprised to see that the branches shook and seemed to scream. He opened his big eyes and when he focused his gaze he discovered that they were three monkeys that, for entertainment, were competing to see who would pluck the most ripe fruits in less time.
Between surprised and angry he yelled at them:
– A respect, please! Can’t you see I’m napping right down here? Quit that stupid game at once!
The monkeys were having such a good time, come laugh and jump from one branch to another, that they ignored you. In fact, they started throwing avocados into the air to see how they crumbled and splattered everything when they hit the ground. It seemed like a hilarious game!
The jaguar, who was already at an age where he could not bear such nonsense, began to lose patience. Very seriously, he got down on all fours, raised his head, and roaring, showed them his fangs to see if they took for granted. Nothing, as if it did not exist.
– I’m sick of all the fuss and you wasting your food like that! Put an end to the revelry or you’ll have to deal with me!
As incredible as it may seem, no threat took effect and the monkeys went about their business. For a short time, yes, because bad luck wanted one of the avocados to crash on the jaguar’s back. The blow was intense and he twisted in pain.
– Oh, oh, what a blow you have hit me with one of those damn avocados!
He felt himself and noticed that the area was inflaming, but the most serious thing was to see how the pulp spread through his hair like butter, forming a disgusting green glob. The smug feline became, never better said, made a beast.
– No… no… it can’t be… You have just destroyed my beautiful and silky golden fur, you bunch of useless people!… Who was the culprit ?!
The monkey with the pointy ears made such a panicky face that he gave himself away; the jaguar, with his nerves on the surface, reacted as jaguars usually do when they are really angry: he made a gigantic leap, and when he was at the height of the insolent animal, he raised his right leg and struck him in the belly . The victim screamed in pain, but luckily the wound was shallow and he was able to save his skin.
In order not to tempt luck, he proposed immediate withdrawal to his companions.
– Guys, quick, we must go! … We must escape before he finishes us!
Said and done! The three friends climbed down from the tree and fled in terror across the fields. Away from danger, the wounded monkey said to the other two:
– I know that the jaguar did not deserve to receive a hit with the avocado and that I messed its beautiful hair, but there was no bad intention on my part. I accidentally hit it and look what it has done to me!
The monkey showed the long, bloody marks the claws had left on its skin.
– You can’t imagine how much it hurts and stings! … I honestly think that this can’t stay that way. The best thing is that we go see Yum Kaax. He will know how to give us the best advice!
Yum Kaax, the protector god of plants and animals, lived in the mountains and was much loved for his goodness, wisdom and kindness. He received the three little monkeys with a smile, his arms outstretched and his characteristic headdress in the shape of a corncob on his head.
– Welcome to my home. How can I help you?
The monkey who had come up with the idea of requesting an audience with the divinity apologized.
– Sir, forgive us for disturbing you at this time, but we had a serious encounter with a jaguar.
– Okay, calm down, tell me what happened.
The trio was detailing the unpleasant situation that had lived minutes before. As soon as he finished, the young god, no longer smiling, resolved:
– I have to tell you that your behavior has been painful. You cannot disturb others while they sleep, and of course, it is not ethical to waste the avocados that the earth gives us!… Have you not been taught that it is very wrong to waste food?
The monkeys bowed their heads in shame. Yum Kaax continued with the reprimand.
– So that you learn your lesson, for two months you will work for me cleaning the fields and collecting part of the cereal crop. This year we are overwhelmed and all help is little!
The three friends opened their mouths to protest, but the god would not let them.
– I do not admit complaints! I think it will be a good way for you to ripen too … like avocados! Hahaha!
The monkeys did not get the humor and only the god laughed at his own joke.
– Ripening … Avocados … Bah, I see that you have not understood! Anyway, let’s continue with the topic at hand.
He was thoughtful for a few seconds and decided the punishment for the feline.
– I’ll let you go back up the tree and throw a few avocados on the back. This time, thanks to my magical powers, it will do him no good to clean himself and he will be marked forever. You will pay for what you have done and learn to be less conceited in the process.
The god took a breath and gave a warning:
– I must tell you that there are two rules that you must respect at all costs: the first, throw the avocados carefully so as not to harm it.
The three monkeys shook their heads yes.
– And the second, they must be very ripe avocados, the kind that can no longer be eaten because they are very soft and dark, about to rot. You will not cause him pain, but his hair will be stained for life because I decide it.
The monkeys accepted the conditions and after thanking Yum Kaax they went straight to the avocado tree. Upon arrival they found that the jaguar had gone to bathe in the river, so they took advantage of its absence to hide among the branches. From there they watched him return, his hair shining again, ready to continue his placid nap.
The pointy-eared monkey, who was running the operation, whispered to his colleagues:
– Here it comes … Let’s prepare the arsenal!
The jaguar, totally oblivious to what awaited him, lay down on the grass and fell asleep. As soon as they heard the snorts, the three primates grabbed several squishy avocados, which by the way smelled pretty bad, and threw them at him unceremoniously. The attacked man woke up immediately and, to his horror, he saw how a heap of black and slimy pulp filled his fine and precious fur with spots.
– But what is happening?!… Who is attacking me?… What is this crap ?!
The little chief, satisfied with the result, leaned out between the leaves and shouted:
– We carry out orders from the god Yum Kaax. From now on, you and your descendants will sport dark specks until the end of time. For you, bragging is over.
The jaguar ran to wash in the river, but no matter how much it soaked, the stains did not dissolve. When he came out of the water, he began to cry out of sheer sadness and had no choice but to accept the punishment imposed by the god.
Since that day, monkeys are prohibited from playing avocado wars and all jaguars have spots.