folklore and legends

The Young Man who Lived by the River

An Old home with Windows near the River (Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara)
An Old home with Windows near the River (Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara)

In the Peruvian mountains, close to a river, there was an old house. One of its windows opened on the river. At the same time it had a great view of the mountains. A young, unmarried man lived there. He was about twenty-two years old. Every evening he would come home exhausted after a hard day.
He wasn’t home during the day, because of work, and did not look out the window because he would arrive with no energy and would fall on his bed asleep.

They gave him a week of vacations and he suddenly began to stay around the house. One morning he stuck his head out the window and looked at the river. He felt a feeling of absolute peace and harmony that was very comforting.

That night, however, he heard a buzzing sound like swarm of bees, or something like that. Since it sounded like it was in the distance he did not give it any importance. Every day the sound got closer and he thought that the bees must have set up on the wall of his house. Very carefully he stuck his head out the window to see and instead of bees he saw blinking lights.

He went to visit his grandparents and told them what had happened. They reproached him, thinking he had stayed till late by the side of the river. Suddenly the young man felt ill and went to bed. His grandparents said a siren had come from the river and visited him and that if they did not do something he would die.

A Memorial Tomb in Cusco (Hebert Edgardo Huamani jara)
A Memorial Tomb in Cusco (Hebert Edgardo Huamani jara)

They went to the cemetery to profane the grave of one of their long dead relatives. The grandparents took with them wine, sweets, flowers, and fruit to ask permission to take a piece of the cadavers clothing which was buried with him. The grandparents made a “pagachi”, a kind of potion with which to call back the soul of the young man that had separated from his body.

They boiled the piece of clothing from the cemetery, a plant called glory, wine, incense, and honey. They gave him the potion before the son came out. Suddenly color returned to his face and he stood up as if awakening from a dream. He saw that his grandparents were there with him and he knew they loved them a lot.

This is how the young man got completely better and from time to time at night could still hear the sound of the bee swarm coming close to his house by the side of the river.

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