folklore and legends

The Tragic Story of a Man, His Foreign Wife, and their Child

A Father, Mother, and Their Child in Cusco (Brayan Coraza Morveli)
A Father, Mother, and Their Child in Cusco

Among large fields ready for harvest lived a family of a man, a woman and a child. They farmed and raised animals. When the sun came up, the mother and her son would go out to herd their sheep and cattle to find pasture while the father tried to sell the products of their fields.

One night the man heard whispers as if someone were talking very close to him be what he heard was tenuous. As a result he did pay much attention to it and went back to sleep. The same thing happened the next day. Every time the whispers appeared he heard them better. He decided to go outside to see what was happening behind his home.

When he got out of bed he noticed his wife and son were not there. He thought they must have gone out early to take the animals up to some grassy slopes on the mountains and begin the day’s work. When he went outside he saw three unusual birds. He was surprised since the birds had human heads.

Epic Condors on the Wall (Brayan Coraza Morveli)
Epic Condors on the Wall

He also saw that, despite what he had thought, all the animals were still in the corral and he did not know where his wife and child might be. As a result, he grabbed his coat and went out to look for them. He could not find them and returned home very sad. When he got home he saw the human-headed birds were inside. When he went into his house the birds said, “They are not here and will never return”.

Without thinking twice he picked up his shotgun and chased the birds into his cornfields when suddenly two shots are heard from far away.

The man had brought down two birds. When he got close he found out that in reality they were his wife and son. At that moment, with her last breath, the wife told the truth. She said: “I am a sirena (a siren) and I fell in love with you. I am very happy for knowing you and for bearing your child. My time as a human being is over. I will always love you.” After saying these words, she died.

People say that these sirens live in the depths of the rivers where vegetation keeps humans out. Nevertheless on the nights of full moon they gather on the riverbanks to converse.

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