The memories from when I was 17 still dance in my head. My friends and I, indeed all the kids from the neighborhood, would gather every Sunday from 8 to 10 PM to share horror stories or stories of fantasy.
My friend Julios voice would get dramatic when it was his turn to tell his stories. One of the ones I remember from him is The Tale of the Enchanted Lake Macpi. This lake is in the Department of Cusco, Province of Pauruo and some hours by land from the communities of Challayco and Chorrillos. People say this lake is dangerous and bewitching.
Julio began his story by saying: “from twelve midnight till three in the morning there was a group of four evil rustlers who would steal people’s cattle all over, even from distance homes.
“They would go from Chumbivillcas towards Paruro looking for good cattle to steel. They had prepared a trap in the community of Challayco nd went out that night with their lassos and horses.
“In order to get to Challayco they had to follow an open road that went tot he side of the enchanted Lake Macpi. They went side by side since it was all flat and open. Only the harsh straw and some of the road could be seen in the dark.
“Suddenly two large and fat bulls appeared sitting on the ground chewing their cud. The eyes of the rustlers got big with desire when they saw the bulls. Because of their ammbition they forgot to continue forward to continue with their plan. They could not resist these two big bulls.
“The four rustlers got off their horses slowly to keep the bulls from noticing them. They divided into two groups and went forward to rope them. The bulls showed no resistance. When everything looked ready the bulls cast their eyes to the lake which shone like a mirror that night. The men stood up with a lot of energy, not realizing that the bulls were not real but were an illusion. They pulled with all their force and could not budge the bulls. They also could not let go of the ropes and, without realizing it, were being pulled forward into the lake until they were submerged and on the lakes bottom. They disappeared leaving no trace.
” The people of Paruro and all who havre heard this tale have a lot of respect and fear for this natural mirror. When they rest at night my grandfather would tell my uncles and cousins this ancient tale. It is still strong and often told there.”
Julio finished his story with a memory. “During my half year school vacations we would go visit my grandfather’s house in the community of Chamaca in the district of Chumbivillcas. From there we would also go to visit my uncles and cousins carrying the food my grandfather would seen to them. They lived in the community of Challayco in a house that my grandfather had.
“We would leave at 4 AM to walk and would arrive at my Uncles’ at 4 PM. On the way we had to take the path that goes by the enchanted Lake Macpi. Just seeing the lake frightened me because I feared it could enchant my father and me just as it had done to the rustlers. Whenever we would get close I would quicken my pace but without saying anything to my father.”