Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Death of Seven Macaw.

[This is based closely on the PV version, with some extra details added. I've tried to make it even more gruesome than in the original, and also to imitate the folk-tale quality and ironic, macabre humor.]

On the next day, Seven Macaw
Was sitting in front of his house.

Down the road came two old people
Accompanied by two teenage boys.

Seven Macaw:
Good day, old grandparents.
Where are you going?

We're going to town, my lord, to look for work.

Seven Macaw:
Why do you have to work, old ones?
Aren't your sons old enough to help?

They are not our sons, my lord,
They are only our grandchildren,
Just two poor orphans.
We care for them and give them a bit of food.

When Seven Macaw looked again,
The boys seemed only children.
And Seven Macaw's heart was softened
By the two old people's kindness.

Seven Macaw:
Well, what do you do, then, old ones?
Maybe I can offer you hire.

We are but two old healers;
We only cure teeth, my lord,
We only cure teeth and eyes.

And Seven Macaw held out his hand,
Humbled, at last, like a mortal man.

Seven Macaw:
You have helped those who have none.
Now help me, I beg you --
I who am the Sun.
For I can neither sleep nor eat
Due to the torment of my teeth.
Take pity on me; I am the lord
Upon whom Hurucan's wrath is poured.

The grandparents bowed to him and said:
O lord who drives off the deadly rain,
We will end your dreadful pain.

So they went inside and made him lie down on a table.

Now we will have to take out all your teeth.
It's the only way to get the worms out.

Seven Macaw:
Perhaps that's not such a good idea.
I am only a lord because of my teeth and eyes.

Don't worry, we'll put in replacements.
They'll be as good as new.
Now just lie as still as you can,
It's best if you don't move at all.
It'll hurt less if you don't squirm and wriggle.
You must let us tie you down.

Seven Macaw:
O grandparents,
I am desperate for rest;
I will do as you think best.

So Seven Macaw let himself be bound.

The grandparents took out the sacred items of sacrifice
And laid them on the table around Seven Macaw.

Seven Macaw:
What are those for, grandparents?

Oh, they are just instruments for the curing.

One by one, they pulled out Seven Macaw's teeth.
As each came out, the sky grew dimmer.
So they lit candles, and placed them around him,
Arranged for ritual like on an altar.

In place of his glorious jade and turquoise teeth
They put in soft kernels of maize.

Seven Macaw:
Grandparents, these teeth don't feel right --
I don't think they fit.

Don't worry, my lord, you'll get used to them.
Now we are going to cure your eyes.
It will all be over soon;
Soon, you won't feel a thing.

The grandparents called the two boys to bring the tools.

"Here they are," the boys said.
Then they stepped forward, and dropped their disguises.
And there stood the two sons of One-Hunahpu,
Hunahpu and Xbalanque.

Look upon our faces, Seven Macaw;
It is the last thing you will ever see.

Then Seven Macaw knew he was undone,
Betrayed by the tricksters, the sons of the Sun.

Hunahpu and Xbalanque took their knives,
They gouged out Seven Macaw's golden eyes,
They carved the silver from his nose
And flayed the metal from his face
'Til it was gone without a trace.

Seven Macaw cried out in utter despair,
In absolute loss. His screams shook the air,
And all in the city shuddered in terror.

And as the last of his greatness left him,
He who once had been the Sun
Became again a mortal man.

And Seven Macaw fell dead.

The sun went out, the sky turned black,
His power vanished from the skies,
No more did he hold back the storm
And so the Wooden People died.

And that was the slaying of Seven Macaw:
A sacrifice to bring the rain,
A sacrifice to Hurucan.

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