The Magician

The Magician

Concepcion Rodriguez, Taos, New Mexico

Once upon a time there were three brothers, all sons of a king. 

One day, the eldest decided to venture out in search of work. As he traveled along the road, he encountered a hawk, an ant and a lion carrying the carcass of dead cow. As he passed by, the hawk took flight and asked the young prince to help them divide the dead cow up between them. 

So the prince then began to partition it out between the three. To the two larger animals he gave the meat and to the ant he gave all the bones. He asked if they were satisfied, to which they all answered, “Yes, very much so.” 

For this act, the youth was granted the power to assume their forms and others with a short prayer.

—The lion stepped forward and taking the roughest hairs from his body, he handed it to the young man and said, “If you encounter troubles, just say out loud, “To God and to Lion.” 

—The hawk then stepped forward and said, “Take this feather. If you encounter any troubles, just say out loud, “To God and to Hawk.” 

—The ant then stepped forward and said, “Take this gift from me. If you encounter any troubles, just say out loud, ‘To God and to Ant.”

The young man continued on his journey and he eventually arrived at a great city, where there was a home of an old couple.  

This couple had a beautiful daughter, but none had ever laid their eyes upon her. She was kept behind layers of seven locks and keys. But the curiosity of the young prince was so great he couldn’t stop thinking of her. Finally, once the night had fallen, he remembered the gifts he had been granted and invoked the ant saying, “To God and the Ant.”  

Instantly he was transformed into an ant and was able to crawl through the layers of locks to the girl and eventually enter her bed chamber, reforming himself into a man. On seeing him, she was so frightened that she screamed. 

On hearing this, the old man entered her room and asked:  

— “Daughter, what is the matter, are you crazy?”  

— “Yes, I was frightened,” she said. But the man had vanished, she didn’t know how to react. 

Her father be searched her room, but could find no one. Feeling that she was playing a trick, the old man threatened her, saying that if she screamed again, he would come back in and kill her.  

The young prince was carefully concealed between the mattresses so he could not be seen.  

The father eventually left the room and closed and locked each door behind him. The mother turned to him and said:

— “What if my daughter will be taken away?”

— “Don’t be crazy, old woman. Who possibly could take her away?” said the old man, pulling the sheet over his head.

The young prince waited until he was sure they would be asleep. But finally transformed himself back and appeared again before the girl, expressing his desire to marry her.

This time, when the girl saw the prince, her eyes lit up. No longer afraid, she simply asked, “When would you be able to take me away?”

The next evening, after everyone had fallen asleep, the young man called upon his power to transform her too into an ant, and this is how he was able to take her from the palace. 

In the morning, the old woman got up to take her daughter her breakfast, but did not find her in her room. She ran to her husband and exclaimed, “It is your fault that my daughter was taken. Go, and bring me my daughter.” 

With these orders, the man set out in search of his daughter. 

As the boy and girl were walking on the road, the girl turned around and noticed in the distance that her father was catching up and she said, “Here comes my father. He will certainly catch and kill us.”

The young man had realized that his powers of transformation were broader than he had first thought. In an instant, before the magician caught up with them, he turned the girl into a cottage and himself into a little old man.

When the girl’s father arrived, he asked, “Good old man, by chance have you seen a young man and girl pass through here?”  

— “No, Sir I have not seen them. Maybe they passed by while I was inside cooking spinach.” said the old man.

Believing they had escaped, with his head cast downward, he returned home to his wife, who flew into a rage when he explained:

— “I didn’t find our daughter. I did encounter an old man who was there in a cottage, but he hadn’t seen them pass.”

— “You foolish man. Why did you not bring the adobes to me? Don’t you know that those were my daughter and that old man a magician?” 

— “But how was I going to destroy the house of a man so old and so poor?”  

— “Go again and bring me my daughter,” she said.

The next day, the old man set out again in search of his daughter. This time, there was no cottage, nor old man tending it. He traveled on. As night fell, he came to a tree. Even though it was in the dead of winter, he noticed that curiously the tree was full of flowers with blossoms as beautiful as he had ever seen. Preparing to return home, he thought to take a bouquet back to his wife, cutting some flowers from the tree. 

Returning again with his head hung low, he handed the bouquet of flowers to his wife and said:

— “I didn’t find her but I did come upon the most beautiful tree, made by God like nothing I had ever seen.” 

— “Oh you fool. Why didn’t you cut that tree down and bring it to me? Don’t you see that the flowers were my daughter and the tree was the magician!”  

— “Woman, did you really expect me to cut that tree down and bring it back dragging behind me?”

— “Well tomorrow I’ll go searching myself,” his wife told him. 

That next day, she did go out on her own. 

As night fell, the couple noticed that the mother was advancing on them, so the young prince quickly turned the young girl into a pigeon and turned himself into a lake of water. 

Recognizing the trickery, the old woman told her workers, “Go, bring two green poles. That pigeon is my daughter and that lake is the magician.”  

The mother took the poles and struck the water. As the pigeon flew to the edge of the lake, the mother tried to grasp her. As the pigeon ducked these efforts to catch her, the mother yelled:

— “Come closer, you ungrateful daughter. Since you obviously have forgotten me, you must already have married this man.”

The young magician then placed a magical wand of pure virtue under the wings of the pigeon, allowing her to take them both away to the city.

Defeated, the mother eventually abandoned the chase.  

The young couple arrived at the city and there they married. One day, the magician told her to wait there for him, since he wished to inform his parents about her.  But, somehow the magician completely forgot about the girl and never returned. 

For four days she was left without food, sustaining herself solely on water.

Finally, servants belonging to another king came down to the river to wash clothes. She approached them. Begging for scraps of food, she told them she would help them do the wasing if they shared their food. They looked upon her and said:

— “How will you help, when you have such delicate hands? 

Even so, taking pity, they went to bring her something to eat.

As soon as they left, as the young princess began to wash the clothes, but the wand of virtue appeared and the princess spoke to it, pleading: 

— “Wand of Virtue, with the power you have that that God has given you, help me wash and iron these clothes.”

When the servants arrived, they were shocked to see that all the clothes were washed and carefully ironed. They handed her the food, but wondered how she had done so much in a short time when it took them days to wash and iron.  

Later in the evening, realizing that she had power in this little wand, she asked another favor. She asked that a beautiful palace be created for her and that it be located near her in-laws. By the time dawn came, the palace had risen from the ground and in it three were many servants. 

Noticing the fine palace, one of the magician’s brother’s asked him, “Who lives there?”  

That evening, one of the three brothers went to the palace to request an audience with the princess and was told that he could come later. 

When the brother came back for the audience at the arranged hour, he entered and was given a seat. At one point, while the two were talking, the princess said:

— “Pardon me, my cook has a very bad injury. Please excuse me, as I need to go cure her.  

— “Oh, no, not even God would permit you to leave, please let me go instead,” said the brother. 

— “Okay, then go,” she said.

She also whispered to the Wand of Virtue, saying: “Wand of Virtue, with the power you have that that God has given you, keep him  doing this all night, going back and forth and trying to heal the wound that will not heal.”

When the brother was finally able to return to his own palace, the other brother, the one who was married to the princess, asked, “Who lives there?” 

All his brother could say was that he didn’t know.

— “Well, tonight I will go and find out for myself,” said the prince.

The next night, he went. As the night before, the two sat and began to converse. At one point, the princess interrupted the conversation, saying:

— “Pardon me, I left the corral for my animals open. Please excuse me, as I need to close the gate.”  

— “Oh, no, not even God would permit you to leave. Please let me go instead,” said the brother. 

— “Oh, my goodness. If you would be so kind, I would appreciate it.”

She then whispered to the Wand of Virtue, saying: “Wand of Virtue, for what you have and for what God has given you, keep him doing this all night, going back and forth and asking whether the lock for the gate is the right one or not.” 

And, having done this all night, he was enraged and decided not to go there ever again. 

Once he got back to his palace, he asked his father if he had given permission to build a palace on that site, to which the King indicated that none had been given. 

— “Father, I would like to request that you give me orders to go back over there to wage war.”

When the princess saw that the young man was preparing his troops for battle, she asked her Wand of Virtue to make a male and female pigeon appear and set on a large table a feast such as never was seen before. As soon as the troops fell upon the table, they dropped all their arms and began to feast upon the delicacies that had been set in it. When they were immersed in this distraction, the pigeon began to speak:

— “Curucucu,” she said, Do you not remember when you took me away from my terrible state?” 

— “Curucucu, no, I do not remember, nor do I know what you are speaking of,” he said. 

The female pigeon continued to query him in this way, asking him one question after another about the adventures and transformation, until he finally yelled out:

— “Curucucu, yes, I remember, I remember that you are my wife.  

That moment he went back to his father’s palace and let them know about his wife. And they lived happily ever after.  

El Negro Magiquero

Estos eran tres hermanos y eran hijos de un rey y salió el mayor a trabajar. Allá ond’ iba en el camino, ai se topó con un muchacho y le dijo que si parónd’ iba y le dijo que pa case el negro magiquero. Allá ond’ iba en el camino, estaba un halcón, una hormiguita, un lion con una res muerta. Cuando se pasó, el halcón pegó el volido y jué y lo volvió y le dice que quiere que les reparta aquella res. Se las estuvo repartiendo. A los dos animales grandes les dió la carne y a la hormiguita le dió toda la güesamenta. Les dice que si están conformes. Y le dijieron ellos que sí. Ya vino el lion y le dió de los pelos más asperos y le dijo que si se vía en trabajos, dijiera, “A Dios y Lion”. El halcón le dió una pluma y le dijo que si se vía en trabajos, dijiera, “A Dios y halcón”. Y la hormiguita le dió un cangiloncito diciendo que cuando se viera en trabajos, dijiera “A Dios y hormiguita” y se volvería hormiguita.

Pues de ai se jué el muchacho y llegó a la suidá, y el negro magiquero tenía una niña muy linda. Pero no la conocía naiden. La tenía debajo siete llaves y él no jallaba cómo entrar hasta que se acordó y dijo:

—A Dios y hormiguita.

Y entró en la noche y jué a su cama de la niña y se espantó mucho y pegó muy juerte grito, y jué entrando el negro magiquero prendiendo luces:

—¿Qué tienes? ¿Que estás loca?

—Si me atentaron —dice ella.

Ya empezó a buscar el viejo por dondequiera y no jalló a naiden. Y ya la amenazó y le dijo que si volvía a gritar, entraba y la mataba. Y aquél escondido entre un colchón pa que no lo vieran. Pues luego que salió su padre, que ya cerraron las puertas. dijo su mamá:

—¡Quién sabe si saquen a mi hija!

—¡Quién se la ha de sacar, vieja loca!

Viendo el muchacho las amenazas que le echaron, logo que ya sintió que se durmieron, se paró y le dijo que él quería casarse con ella.

—¡Uh! —le dice—. Pero ¡cuándo me vas a poder sacar! 

— Sí puedo. No más dime tú que sí.

Ya le dijo ella que si.

Otro día en la noche la sacó hecha hormiguita también del palacio. En la mañana se levantó la vieja a llevale de almorzar y no la halló y le dice a su marido:

—La culpa tienes tú que a mi hija se la llevaran. Traime a mi hija.

Antonces propuso él salir con ordenanzas a buscala. Cuando iba

en el camino, voltió la muchacha la cara pa atrás y le dice: 

  —Hermanito, ai viene mi padre con ordenanzas. Hora nos pesca ynos mata.

Vino y la volvió a ella una casita y él se volvió un viejito. Llego el viejo magiquero. 

—Buen viejito, ¿no ha visto pasar por aquí un joven con una niña?

    —No, señor, no los he visto. Pueda que cuando estaba cociendo mis quelititos adentro que pasaran.

—Sestiaremos a comer. ¡Cuando este viejito que está en el medio del camino no los vida pasar, cuándo los vamos a alcanzar! ¡Quién sabe ónde irán!

De ai se volvió el negro magiquero con sus tropas y salió su mujer preguntando por su hija.

—No la jallé, hija. Te contaré. Un viejito estaba allí en una ca-sita y no la vido pasar.

—¿Por qué no me trujites a mí esos adobes? Esos eran mi hija yel malhechor era el viejo.

—Pero ¿cómo m’ iba a poner a tírale la casita al pobre viejo, tan viejo?

—Pues traime a mi hija. Me has de trai a mi hija.

Otro día salió el viejo otra vez con más ordenanzas a buscarlos. Ya no topó ni viejo ni casa ni nada. Ya iba la tarde avanzando cuando llegó a onde estaba un árbol, que era en el invierno, muy enflorecido con unas flores tan lindas que no sólo. Y empieza a ver aquel árbol. Ai comió el rey con sus ordenanzas. Cuando s’ iba a subir en la carretera, agarró un ramito de flor y córtale una uñita de un dedito. Y llegó a onde estaba su mujer y le dice:

—No la jallé. Pero ¿qué más te diré? ¡Vide un árbol tan lindo! ¡Qué flor tarre linda! ¡Como las cosas de Dios no hay!

—¿Por qué no me cortates el árbol y me lo trujites? La flor era mi hija y el árbol era el malhechor.

—¿Cómo m’ iba a cortar el palo y trailo arrastrando? No estoy loco.

—Pues mañana voy yo— le dijo su mujer.

Otro día salió ella con ordenanzas. Ya estaba avanzando la tarde cuando los iba alcanzando su madre. Vino y la volvió a ella una pichoncita y él se volvió una laguna de agua.

—Vayan —le dice a los piones— tráiganme dos varejones verdes. Esa pichoncita es mi hija y esa laguna es el malhechor.

Pues que le pegó con aquellos palos al agua y salía la pichoncita a la orilla de la agua y le tiraba ella la agarrada y huía y se zambullía. Antonces le dice su madre:

—Arrímate, ingrata, que cómo eres olvidada de mí, serás de tu marido.

Y le metió una varita de virtú debajo de sus alitas, y se jué la madre y logo se jué la hija con el muchacho pa la suidá de él.

Cuando iban llegando a la suidá, le dice él que lo espere allí mientras va a avisarles a sus padres que la lleva. Se jué a avísale a sus padres y no volvió. Olvidó a la novia. Allí se estuvo cuatro días sin comer más que la agua, y él ni se acordó.

Abajaron unas sirvientas del otro rey a lavar al rio y les pidió de las migajas de la mesa, que les ayudaría a lavar.

—¿Que nos va a ayudar, cuando tiene unas manos tarre finas?
Pero aquéllas se jueron a traile. Cuando ellas se jueron, se pu-

so ella a lavar y en esto se le cayó la varita de virtú y le dice: 

—Varita de virtú, por la virtú que tienes y la que Dios te ha

dao, lávame y plánchame esta ropa.

Cuando llegaron las cocineras, que la iban a lavar, y le preguntaron:

 —¿Pa qué la lavó y la planchó, cuando nosotros nos tardamos días pa lavala y planchala?

Pues en la tarde, no más escureció, y le pidió a su varita de virtú que le levantara un palacio muy bonito en frente del de su suegro. En la mañana ya amaneció el palacio levantao y ella con piones. Ya le dijo uno de sushermanos a su marido de ella:

—Pero ¿quién vivirá ai?

Jué uno de sus hermanos allá en la noche y habló con ella, y le dijo:

—Sí señor, a la noche.

En la noche jué el muchacho a las horas que le dijo la muchacha. Logo que entró, le dió el asiento y se pusieron a platicar. Y le dijo:

—Dispénseme, nito, mi cocinera está murre mala de unas llagas. Tengo qu’ irla a curar.

—Ni lo permita Dios que usté vaya! Yo iré por usté.

—Bueno, pues vaya. Varita de virtú, por la que tienes y la que

Dios te ha dado, tenme éste toda la noche diciendo, “¿Será este ingüente o no será?” y que no cure a la enferma.

Pues se jué pal palacio. Ya no se jué paronde estaba la muchacha. Ya le preguntó su hermano, el novio, quién vivía allí. El le dijo que no sabía.

—Pues esta noche voy yo.

La siguiente noche jué él y habló con ella.

—Bueno —le dijo—, venga a la noche.

Logo que jué, se estuvo sentao platicando un rato. 

—Dispénseme, hermanito, que les dejé a mis bestias el corral abierto. Voy a ponerle las trancas.

—¡Ni lo permita Dios que usté vaya! Iré yo.

—Pues si me hace el favor, va. Varita de virtú. por la virtú que tienes y la que Dios te ha dado, tenme a mi marido, “¿Será esta tranca o no será?” hasta que aclare y luego se voltee y se vacíeél.

Pues que le dió coraje al muchacho y se jué pa su casa. Ya no jué a onde estaba la novia.

Logo que llegó, le dijo a su tata el muchacho que si había dao consentimiento pa que pusieran ese palacio ai, y le dijo el rey que no.

—Pues yo quiero que me dé ordenanzas para ir a dale juego.

Cuando ella vicio al muchacho estar preparando las tropas, le pidió a su varita de virtú una pichoncita y un pichoncito y que le pusiera una mesa de comida que nunca los piones hubieran visto comidas como ésas y que de una vez tiraran los piones las armas y se pusieran a comer. Y logo le pidió a su varita de virtú que llegaran de una vez, y jueron llegando de una vez y de una vez empezó el pichoncito:

—Curucucú —le dice—, ¿qué no te acuerdas cuándo me sacates de mi bien y mal estar?

—Curucucú, que no me acuerdo.

Así le jué haciendo preguntas acerca de sus aventuras hasta que gritó:

—Curucucú, que ya me acordé. Si es mi mujer.

Ya de ai jué y le avisó a su padre y vinieron sussuegros por ella y ai están viviendo bien.

Listen to the audio here