The Story of the Owl

The Story of the Owl

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The Story of the Owl

In the old days, it is said, the owl was a very wise man.
For this reason, he went to the home of a young woman, to live with her, and then to marry

At that time the one who would become his mother-in-law sent the owl, it is said, to do all
the labor of men, sometimes to work in the fields, sometimes to split wood, or to do any
other thing.

When she wanted him to bring firewood, she woke him up, it is said, well before dawn.
And then she will say to him:
"Please go and bring firewood, we don't have any."
And then slowly, slowly, it is said, he arose and went out.
And when he arrived with the firewood, a bowl of chicha, it is said, they would give him.
When he finished that, she will tell him:
"And now please go and help my hsuband work in the fields, or go with him to work on
another's land."

In the afternoon when they returned, she would ask her husband about the young man:
"Well, does he work or doesn't he?"
When she asked that, it is said, he responded:
"He is rather lazy, he doesn't work much.
At times he just stood there scratching his head.
He always stayed behind clawing at the piles of grass."

Upon hearing this, it is said, that future mother-in-law would say to her daughter:
"This young man will not be good for you, you should marry another one.
This fellow likes to sleep too much, and they tell me that he doesn't work hard."

And when she said that, it is said, the daughter responded:
"I am going to marry even if it be with a lazy man, and if he marries he might become less
lazy and work more.
And to me he doesn't seem lazy.
Here you order him around too much, without letting him rest at all."

And that young man, even with so much work, did not flee.
He was only in that home, it is said, in order to marry.
"Since he didn't flee," she said, "let's send him into the forest, to clear the woods with some
If he doesn't tire of clearing the woods, then you can marry him."

Then truly they solicited workers to clear the woods.
That day they awoke the owl, it is said, before dawn.
Just as he arose, they gave him a large bowl of chicha, and they told him:
"Drink up, today you will be the boss.
You will have to work hard, like the owner, leading the others."

When the young man finished the chicha, his future mother-in-law told him, it is said:
"And now go and sharpen your machete.
In order to clear the wood, you will need a very sharp machete, a very sharp ax."
And it seemed that the young man could barely sharpen them, such was his laziness.
When he finished the sharpening he left, it is said, to accompany the workers.
And on arriving in the forest, he went to show them, it is said, where to begin.

He told the workers:
"Please, from this spot begin, please do a good job for me.
Please, for God's sake, don't chop down the straight trees, because later I will need them to
build a house."
Soliciting in this way the help of the workers, he told them, it is said:
"I am going to begin working from that corner over towards here; we will meet again in the afternoon."
And when he said that, the workers laughed loudly, and laughing loudly, it is said, they began
to work, talking among themselves.

And then, it is said, he went to begin working in one corner.
Looking, looking, they couldn't see his work at all.
From time to time they heard a shout, it is said, and then they heard many trees fall, but
when they went to look, they couldn't see anything; everything, it is said, remained the
At some moments they heard what sounded like many people talking, at others, something
like a shout, and what sounded like the voices of many people could be heard.
And on hearing that, it is said, they became frightened.

One of them spoke up:
"Could that be the spirit of the forest? Perhaps this is an evil hour."
And then without paying heed they continued working, talking among themselves, it is said.
And talking among themselves, one of them said:
"What a fine sunny day it is, I am very thirsty. I wish there was some chicha."

And another responded, it is said:
"Don't worry, it is almost midday, the women should be bringing us some lunch and
Before he finished saying that, it is said, they arrived there carrying pots of food and gourds
of chicha, in order to give them their lunch.
And after they arrived, they told them to gather around to eat.
And when they said that, all of them gathered around to eat.

And after giving food to everyone, she asked about the young man.
And then they responded, it is said:
"From that far corner he began to work."
And hearing that, his future wife called out:
"Ala, ala, ala, come and eat."

Quite some time, it is said, she waited, but he did not arrive.
And so she went over there to give it to him.
When she arrived, he wasn't there.
Only a small area, it is said, had he begun to work.
And seeing that, she called out: "Ala, ala, where are you?"

And then from within the forest he responded, it is said:
"Here I am."
"Ala, come and eat some soup," she told him.
And as he was eating the soup, she told him:
"Begin working again, you must work quickly."
And saying that, she returned home, it is said.

And just as she arrived home, she asked her:
"That young man, is he working or isn't he?"
"Yes," she answered, "he is working, he is even working the most difficult part."
In the afternoon when he arrived with the workers, his future mother-in-law asked him, it is
"Did you work or didn't you work?"

And when she asked that, the workers laughed loudly:
"The entire forest is turning into a garden."
And then that woman said:
"I hate to say it, but you are lazy.
You must have been standing there, scratching your head instead of working."

And then the young man, becoming angry, told her:
"If you want to, go and see. I couldn't have done more.
But from this day on, with a great many workers, you will clear only a small piece of forest.
You will not see the results of your labor.
Later, when nothing can be done, you will think of me."

And saying that, he went outside, it is said, and the workers continued drinking, plenty of
Later they began to play the drum, flute, horn, panpipe, and rattle.
They began to dance quite a lot, it is said.
And then right next to the house the owl hooted:
"Cucucu, cucucu, cucucu."

And hearing that, some of them became frightened, it is said.
"How strange, is something terrible going to happen?"
And then the owner of the house told them, it is said:
"Don't be frightened. Here every afternoon we hear that.
We are already used to it.
Here, since we live on the edge of the forest, there are many owls, and every evening they
come here to hoot."

After some time, the one who was to become his wife, went outside, it is said, to see the
young man.
And then, beside the vines of some bean plants, he was sitting, it is said.
And seeing him like that:
"Ala, ala," she said, "don't be sitting sadly out here. Come inside. Let's go drink some
chicha. Don't be sad. My mother is like that, she also scolds me harshly without a good
And comforting him like that, she made him enter the house.

On entering he sat down on the corner bench, it is said.
Then slowly he began to drink chicha, and after a time they were inviting him to dance, but
he would not dance with them, it is said, regardless of what they said to him.
The next day they arose before dawn, it is said, to travel once again to the forest.

His future mother-in-law told him, it is said:
"Ala, you are not such a lazy person. Get up quickly. Let's go to the forest to do some more
And at that time, slowly, slowly, it is said, he arose to go and work.
And while they were warming the chicha, the young man went, it is said, to the creek,
to wash his face and sharpen his machete.
When the chicha was warmed, they called him to drink some.

And after he drank the chicha, that woman told him:
"Please carry this bushel of arracacha seed, I want to plant some today."
And then, talking to each other, they went into the forest.
And when they arrived there, they saw as in a dream, a beautiful garden, corn already
beginning to ripen, in another part, corn already hardening, in another part, corn almost
ready to harvest, and elsewhere, corn ready for the harvest.

Nobody knew how this came to be.
When she asked the workers, they also wondered about it:
"And what happened here?"
And at that time nobody could give her an answer, neither the young man nor the workers,
surprised, they only looked at one another.

And then that future mother-in-law said to the workers:
"Then please go and work this side for me."
And she told the young man, it is said:
"Please plant the arracacha seed for me.
I am going to harvest some corn in this bushel, to make chicha this afternoon. But plant
quickly for me."

And ordering him like that, truly she went to harvest the corn.
When she returned from harvesting the corn, the young man had not planted even a single
It appeared that he had begun to dig two little holes, and his hair was all messed up, it is
And seeing that, she told him:
"Didn't I tell you that you are lazy. You are just looking forward to drinking chicha made
from arracacha.
Instead of planting, you are just scratching your head.
You are standing there just like an owl.
Your hair all disheveled, you never comb your hair.
Would you be an owl?"

And just as she said that, it is said, all that fine garden turned back into a forest.
And then the young man turned into an owl, and flying up into a tree, he went off, saying:
"Cucucu, cucucu, cucucu."
And that young man had a great head of hair, it is said, it completely covered his eyes.

The grandparents tell it that owl was a person, the owner of large gardens.
With only a shout, it is said, he worked an entire field, the clearing of the land, the weeding,
all that had to be done.
And when he shouted a second time, he left everything planted.
When he shouted the third time, the cobs of corn would appear, and the fourth shout left the
corn already harvested.
For this reason, imagine how we would live, if the owl was still a man to this day, or if he
had taught us what he knew.