folklore and legends

The Story of a Curious Woman and a Canteen

Titicaca Lake

Once upon a time there was a distant city located where the Andes blew a wind like out of a deep freeze in order to keep all the products of the fields fresh. It only had small houses of stone and straw and its people were poor and their houses small. They could only accommodate three people each.

One day a couple of strangers came who was looking for a place to stay. They were an elderly pair and they went door to door seeking someone who would put them up so they could get out of the cold night air.

From one of the houses a woman came out and seeing that the old man carried a porongo (a rustic canteen) on his back told them they could stay. She was curious to know what he carried in the porongo.

Once inside the woman asked and the old man said that within the porongo was a disaster. If the porongo were opened it would come out and would kill everyone in the town.

The next day the elderly couple went on their way but they left behind the porongo in the woman’s house. She expected them to come back for it and so left it untouched. After a few days however, her curiosity grew. She could not stop wondering what was inside. She thought maybe it was something valuable, like gold. She could not imagine that it could possibly contain a curse.

The temptation was so strong she decided to open the canteen. Water spewed from it with great force. It flooded the town and drowned the people. That is how this town became an immense lake and its name is Lake Titicaca.

 

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