folklore and legends

The Condemned One in the Countryside

Herding Sheep in Cusco (Craig Howes)

There once was a couple of elderly people who had a lot of sheep. Every day they would herd them to the grassy slopes so they could eat and then in the evening they all would come home. They also had a young, ash colored ram who could easily be seen among the flock of sheep.

One afternoon, the man got very tired and after taking a nap awoke. He saw that all his sheep had disappeared and went looking for them. Near that place there was a cemetery and all his sheep were there. After taking them home he realized he did not see the ash colored ram and all worried he returned to the cemetery.

Once there he saw that the ram was stretched out on one of the tombs in the cemetery. Thinking something had happened to his goat because it would not get up, the man lifted it and carried it towards his house on his shoulders. As they got closer and closer to the house the goat began to weigh heavier and heavier. He shouted to his wife ,“Maria, come help me with this ram.”

His wife ran out of the house and saw that from the ram’s nose and mouth came out fire. “That is not a sheep,” she shouted. “I found the missing one.”

The man threw down the ram and ran home to drink some alcohol and grab his whip. He then went to where the ram he had dropped was.

It a suddenly transformed into an old man with long hair and beard. He was large and ragged. The man raised his whip and beat him with all his strength. The other man shouted out to god, begging his forgiveness for all the bad things he had ever done.

Suddenly the were-sheep / man became a white dove and ascended into the sky.

He had been a condemned one (condenado) roaming through that cemetery. Because the man had beaten it with his whip he had given him a harsh punishment and obtained forgiveness. Now his soul could rest in peace.

 

 

 

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