Storytelling in Peru and Argentina June 12th – July 7th
More stories to follow but here’s my version of a Peruvian tale to whet your appetite.
Nina and the Condor
Nina’s father was a llama farmer who lived not far from Lake Titicaca in the mountains of Peru.
One morning while Nina was tending the llamas, a handsome young man dressed in a black poncho appeared and asked if she’d like to play a game.
Before she could answer, he whisked her up, sat her on his shoulders and set off running around the field. She quite enjoyed this unexpected encounter and giggled while she jiggled looking at the surprised expressions on the llamas’ faces.
After a while he came to a halt saying it was her turn to carry him. He claimed he was light as a feather.As he launched himself onto her shoulders, the bemused llamas rushed towards the pair spitting at the eyes of the man. But they were too late. He was a man no more. He’d turned into a great black vulture. Gripped by his talons, Nina rose up from the ground and was taken to an eyrie on a mountain ledge.
How foolish she felt. To be kidnapped by a condor. What would her father say about this?
The condor had fallen in love with Nina the moment he’d spied her from on high, and hoped that if he was kind to her she would marry him.
Unfortunately for him, things aren’t always that simple.
He brought her a guinea pig to eat but she refused it.
He brought her a chihuahua.
He brought her a baby vicuna, then an armadillo, all to which she said no.
The condor was at its wit’s end, when a hummingbird the size of a peccary flew by and told him that humans don’t like to eat dead animals unless they’re cooked, and it just so happens that in a nearby village, an alpaca was being roasted on the spit at this very moment.
The condor sped off and the giant humming bird flew down to the girl’s father and told him his daughter had been stolen away and was trapped in a bird’s nest. The shocked man tied together all of the ropes he could find in his village telling the hummingbird to rescue his daughter. Oh, and by the way, he also put a black toad on the bird’s head.
Nina was slightly surprised to see a giant hummingbird hovering above her with a toad on its head, but she was very pleased to be offered a rope of rescue which she fastened around a rock to climb down from the ledge.
When the condor returned with a large piece of roasted alpaca he was confused to see a black toad in his nest. The hummingbird told him that Nina had become a toad because of the way the condor had treated her.
In anger the condor killed the hummingbird and pecked him into fifty pieces and snaffled them down. Suddenly a hole appeared in the condor’s breast and out flew fifty small hummingbirds each with different coloured feathers.
The toad belched and the hole healed instantly.
Even though the condor was disappointed that Nina had changed her shape, he was still happy to share his nest with her, and as far as I know, unless you can tell me otherwise, they both lived happily ever after.
© Clive PiG