Literature

The Toad and the Beautiful Young Woman

A Toad in Cuzco

The toad is the most popular and well-known amphibian in the world. It has a great diversity of colors, forms, and sizes. In our country it is also diverse and the toad is important for many cultures and traditions, including ours.

Over the last years, toads have been disappearing all over the world and now they are becoming a species in danger of extinction. It used to be that at night you could hear their croaking in the hills and valley, but with global warming and the advance of technology it is now rare to see or hear one of these little animals.

There once was an Inca prince who was mean to animals. Whenever he ran into toads or frogs he would kill them without pity. Many people did not like what he did to these animals. But the just chalked it up to his still being a child.

An old woman told him that if he continued to bother and kill these animals they would take revenge and things would not go well for him. The next day people saw there was a large quantity of dead toads scattered all over the ground. No one knew what had happened. Furthermore, they were worried because the Inca prince was nowhere to be found.

He had turned into a toad and had hid in the grass and brush. He saw what people said and was very sad so he decided to take to the road and leave.

Many days passed and he got to a ravine where there were other toads. He decided to stay there. Years went by and he almost forgot that he was an Inca prince. One morning a beautiful young woman came to the ravine where she found the youth who was turned into a toad. She saw that he looked different from the other toads and decided to come back to that place.

The next day she found the toad there and he looked like he wanted to talk with her. Unlike the Inca Prince she loved animals. She lifted up the toad and asked him where he was from and like an act of magic he responded and told her he was an Inca prince and because he had killed a lot of toads he was turned into one.

The beauty asked if he wanted to be a human being again. He was very emotional but with a broken heart he told her that he wanted to continue being a toad and pay for what he had done.

It was already late at night and the young woman told him that when day came again he would return to being a human being. But at night you will be a toad. Since it was getting late the young woman climbed into the sky where she became the mamakilla, the moon.

The Inca prince went back to his land and told everyone what had happened. After a few years he quit turning into a toad at night and, instead, became the next Inca governor. That is why toads come out at night and croak until dawn.

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