Story

The Rumula, The Devil’s Mule

In the Amazon, you find myths and legends of terrifying creatures.These stories have been passed on by word of mouth for generations. With the arrival of the colonizers who brought with them the Catholic religion, many of these stories changed or began to appear new, as is the case of the runamula.

Religion began to instruct and warn that the sins of the flesh can cause terrible consequences for those who have decided to love in hiding. In it, the Devil enjoys and plays freely, as you will see in the protagonists of this story, as if he were the puppeteer and they were his faithful servants.

The runamula, whose translation to Spanish means “people-mule”, or as many call it ‘La mula del diablo’, the devil’s mule, is one of the figures that has had the most sightings in Amazonian communities. The Runamula, according to the stories, is the physical materialization of adultery, a creature blinded by impure desire.

All woman who committed adultery with a married man, a clergyman, or with any man if she is married runs the risk of becoming this monstrous creature. It takes the form of a mule driven by the most impure carnal desires. It is condemned to trot during nights of full moon, ridden by his lover turned into an amorphous demon.

Many of those who came across this creature describe it as a hybrid being, half woman and half mule (something similar to a centaur). Others swear to know it is a white-haired mule that usually gallops throug the community in the middle of the night. But, the majority of testimonies agree it appears as a rabid black mule with eyes as red as fire.

Sometimes the inhabitants of these communities are filled with courage to try to catch this monstrous creature. They stand guard during nights of the full moon in large groups to see and corral this being and give it a fierce beating. The next day, they discover, thanks to the bruises, who is the woman who committed adultery.

The Amazon is full of myths and legends, but there is no doubt the Runamula is the best known of these. If you ever find yourself in an Amazonian community, remember to ask its inhabitants about this creature and about their experiences in trying to trap it. I know they will surprise you.

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