Food Culture, Travel

The Legend of Urcos’ Lake

Urcos' Lake (Wayra)

A couple of young people decided to flee their homes because their parents would not accept their relationship. They decided to go to a nearby town. Their decision was premature, however, since they did not have the resources to support their flight. When they began their escape, the young man remembered that his father kept some savings hidden in the house for emergencies. They looked for a hiding place close to the house and he told the girl to stay there and wait for him while he returned to his parents house to get the money they kept.

When the youth got to the house he found everything quiet. His parents were still asleep and had not even realized the youth had gone. When he opened the chest where the money was kept he suddenly heard a lot of noise. His father awoke thinking it was a thief. He grabbed a stick and came to defend himself from the thief who was wanting to steal his savings.

The River near Urcos (Wayra)
The River near Urcos (Wayra)The River near Urcos (Wayra)

Since it was night he did not realize that the thief was his son. When he did become aware it was too late. His son was dead. With a lot of pain and sadness the father went to tell his wife, the mother, and everyone else in the community what had happened in their house.

As was their tradition they decided to bury the boy according to their community’s customs. The covered him in food products and material things such as clothing and dishes so that he would not undergo hunger and would lack nothing in his path to the other world. They also sacrificed a dog to accompany him and guide him on the way.

In the meantime the girl was waiting in the safe place. Three days passed and the youth did not return. She had no more money to pay for their room and begged the owner to let her stay for a few days more while she waited for her love to return

Suddenly the boy appeared on the road loaded dow with all the foods and with a dog at his side. Very happy, she ran to greet him since she had known he would return for her. They paid what they owed and continued their flight.

Once again night fell and they found themselves in front of a house. They begged the people to let them stay the night and the woman of the house agreed. The young man said that only his love one would stay inside and that he would be ok outside. His girlfriend did everything possible to convince him to stay inside the house. Nevertheless she could not convince him.

Urcos and Its Lake (Wayra)
Urcos and Its Lake (Wayra)

The next day a heavy rain began to fall impeding the couple from continuing ont heir way. They decided to stay more time at the house. All day long the youth would not eat anything. It was as if he had no hunger or thirst. As a result, the woman of the house had some suspicions about him.

At night the woman took something to eat to the boy who waited outside. She realized the boy was no longer alive and that he had returned to his girlfriend turned into a condenado, a condemned one. She decided his goal was to carry away the girl and eat her. Now very worried she hurried inside the house to tell the girl what she had learned. The young woman would not believe what she said about her lover.

Before the couple could leave to continue on their way, the woman gave the girl three objects: yarn, a needle, and a small mirror. She told the girl that when she discovered her boyfriend was no longer among the living she should run away from him so that the condenado could not eat her. If she could manage to do so she was to throw these objects at him one by one as she ran. After the woman had told her all these things they said good bye and she wished the young woman lots of luck.

They continued on their way and arrived at a small river. The youth did not want to cross it and begged his lover they go around and try to find another form of crossing it. The girl remembered she had heard that condenados could not step in or touch water.

She decided to carry her lover to the other side. When they had gotten to the other side she told him that she would go back for all their things. In this way she was able to trick him and she began running to escape the condenado since she had realized her lover no longer lived.

From far away she heard the condenado shout that he would catch her and he would eat her. Somehow he managed to cross the river and began to catch up with the girl. She suddenly remembered the gifts from the woman of the house where they had stayed.

Without thinking twice she threw back the yarn and it suddenly was converted into a forest. Next she threw the needle and when the condenado once again came close he found himself in a thorn forest.

Nevertheless, the condenado got through. He once again was very close to her when she remembered she had one more object, a mirror. She threw that and its became a lake. Since the condenado could not cross the water she was now safe.

With the passage of time the lake stayed in the same place, along with what remained of the thorns and the forest. And, this is how the lake of Urcos came to be. It had kept the condenado from eating the young woman.

 

 

 

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