The Clock Bird
Ancient Mayan tale
The ancient lords say that it was not long after the creation of animals when God remembered that he had not given them a name. For this reason, he announced that he would host a party in which there would be a race. All the animals would run and as they arrived he would give them their name. Birds and animals from earth would run together.
The Lord God communicated this to their leader and that was how the race was programed.
Among all the animals in this world there is an incredibly beautiful little bird due to its multicolored plumage and long tail.
From the distance it looked like a perfect animal. And just like when we see a beautiful person, but with a very ugly or bad heart, this little bird looked exceptionally beautiful and loved to sleep too much, he would spend most of its time asleep.
The day the race and festivities were announced to all the animals this beautiful bird fell asleep.
From other birds´ beaks he heard:
– Hum, if you are going to sleep like that on race day you won’t be able to earn your name, you love to sleep.
He was so hurt by this comment that he began to think about how to participate and earn his name.
This is what he thought:
– It is true what my partner says, I love sleeping. What shall I do then? Otherwise I will not be able to have my name.
He spent two days thinking only about this so, he decided to sleep in the middle of the road because that way, when he heard the noise of all the animals he would just get up and go behind them.
Just as he thought, he did. The sun had not yet risen when he went to finish sleeping in the middle of the road.
When dawn came, all the animals participated in the race, however, this little bird did not hear them pass, what he had thought did not happen.
While all the animals were happy to have received their name from the mouth of God, this bird hardly woke up.
He was happy when he woke up and found no one on the road so he began to fly, fly and fly. However, he was happier when he felt that by flapping his wings with the usual force he could fly faster, he felt lighter. Without knowing why, he turned his head to see if any animals were running behind him and he burst into tears.
He was scared. He was looking for his beautiful tail and there was nothing left but a thin feather. Looking at the sun and realizing it was in the middle of the sky, he began to understand why there were no animals: they had all ran over his tail, trampling on it.
He was crying when he got to the finish line. When God saw this little bird, he could barely hold his laughter because of the way his tail looked.
God said to him:
– See what happens to you sleepyhead? On this day I give you the name of Straight because that is how your tail ended up. Straight, I am not going to make it up for you so that you and your descendants remember what the reason is we should not sleep too much.
Narrated in Spanish by Adolfo Hach
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