The Indian Youth

The Indian Youth

Remigio Martinez, Conejos, Colorado

Be it known, if the following tale is a lie, it was twisted alreayd, but if it is the truth, the truth follows. Know too, as you begin this tale, that the brandy is for drunks, seeds are for you, and the bread for me.

Once upon a time, there lived a king in a great city. This king had a young son.

An Indian village happened to be located very close to this city. One day, the Indians of this village went to make a request of the king that the king’s son, the young prince, be allowed to go hunting for deer with them. 

The king was skeptical and asked if they could give him assurances that his son would be safe in their care. They promised to bring the prince back from the hunt without any troubles, and since they had done this hunt so many times, they had no concerns. But to assure the king, they said that if anything should happen to the young prince, their whole tribe would suffer the penalty of death. With this assurance, the king agreed. So they went hunting and took the prince with him.

During the hunt, the young prince encountered a deer and began to chase the animal at such a pace that he was soon lost by his fellow hunters. Before he knew it, he had chased the deer far into the forest and found himself in an area that he didn’t recognize. As he looked around, he noticed an enormous lake. Finding himself thirsty from the chase, he began to drink from the lake. 

As the young prince drank, he began to notice a gradual transformation. Before he knew it, his back arched and he fell to the ground. Slowly his hands and feet began to transform into hooves, antlers began to grow from his head, and before he knew it, he stood beside this lake fully transformed into a deer.  

Meanwhile, not knowing what had happened, but seeing that there was no prince to be found, the hunters were devasted, recognizing the fate that awaited their entire community. They returned to to the kingdom, expressed tremendous regret, and confessed to losing the prince. The king was beyond melancholy, but enraged and immediately ordered execution of the entire community, which was immediately fulfilled. 

Hearing the news, the Queen was devastated that so much loss had occurred. The next day, when she went out to see the site of massacre, she noticed an infant that had miraculously survived the devastation and was left beside the body of his mother. Already mortified by what had happened, she took the greatest pity on the infant and lifted him to her bosom. She then returned to the kingdom and asked that the life of this child be spared and that it serve as a living memorial to her own fallen son. Still angry, but knowing the softness of the queen’s heart, the king granted her the request and asked that a governess be found to raise the infant in the royal palace. 

In time, this Indian child grew into a strong and smart young man. One day, he asked the king if he could go hunting for deer. 

Although hesitant, the king finally granted the wish.

The next day the young man went into the mountains. As he was hunting, he encountered a young deer, though as he pursued it, he lost sight of it. He eventually heard the bellowing sounds of the deer and followed those sounds until he arrived at a great lake.

Recognizing that this was a place where the deer gathered to drink, he decided to wait. In time, he saw a deer emerge from the trees and bend down to drink water at the lake’s edge. He took aim with bow and arrow but, because he was not an experienced hunter, was only able to hit the leg. But with this shot, the deer begun to transform to half man.

Frightened, the youth sent a second arrow and hit another leg, and this took the deer down. As it was falling, however, the deer had almost completely transformed into a man. The Indian youth was about to shoot yet another arrow when the fallen man shouted out: 

“Do not shoot any more. I am a prince who was enchanted and turned into a deer.”

“You are no prince, but instead a sorcerer and I will kill you,” said the young Indian.

“No, please do not kill me. I am the prince and if you don’t kill me, you will be rewarded well.” 

The prince reached into his pouch and grabbed a mirror and said:

“Here, look upon this magic mirror as my reward to you should you not kill me.”

The Indian put down bow and arrow and the two sat to talk. The prince told how he had been enchanted. He also asked if the tribal community that had existed near the palace had been massacred. 

Having heard these stories of his family and community, the Indian said: 

“Yes, my entire family and community were massacred at the bottom of this hill. As an infant, I was the only one that was spared.”

The prince leaned forward and responded: “With this mirror, you can change all that harm and I will show you how. But first, go tell the king, my father, what you have witnessed and tell him that I am alive.”

The young Indian immediately took to the road toward the palace, where he found the king. He recounted all that had happened during his hunt. The king immediately sent his troops to go out with him to find his son. When his son arrived back, three days of rejoicing followed.

The next day, the Indian youth, went to the site of the massacre. Feeling hopeful with the power that had been given to him in the mirror, he removed it from his sachel and remembering the instructions given to him by the prince, held it in front of him and said:

“Magic Mirror, because of the virtue you have and the one God has given you, restore this town and all of my people to the way it was before the prince was lost, so that I can find my mother, from whose breast death separated us. 

In an instant, the entire village appeared with its indigenous inhabitants. Though his mother only knew the Indian as an infant, the two found each other and embraced. 

Though immersed with the celebration, the king noticed the absence of the young Indian boy and he inquired about his whereabouts. The king and his men found him in the village with his mother. The king rejoiced in this miracle and arranged to make reparations to the village for the time lost, presenting them lands and the abundance of the kingdom. 

Years later, feeling like he wanted to learn more about the world in which he lived, the Indian youth went to the king and asked if he would grant him the license to venture outside outside of the kingdom, a wish the king granted him and he ventured out. 

Just before he came to a certain city, he passed near a cemetary and noticed that there was a body lying in the holy ground. When he entered the city, he asked about the body he had noticed and was told that it was the body of a stranger who had recently died in the city. To this, the Indian youth asked:  

—“But why hasn’t the body been properly buried?”

— “You may not have noticed a plate that has been placed upon the chest of the body. That plate is there so that people might give alms in order to pay for the burial.”

The Indian youth then asked, if there were no known parents of the dead man. He was then told that it was the parents who had placed the body openly in the cemetary in order to collect alms. 

The Indian youth sought out the parents, who confirmed that until they were able to collect enough money they could not afford to bury him. Perplexed and troubled by this situation, he asked for a pick and shovel to dig the grave. The parents objected, but he removed his bow and arrow and threatened them. He then asked them to show him where they would like to dig the grave and they showed him. He gave one a pick and the other a shovel and asked them to begin digging the grave. Again they objected, but finally they succumbed and began to dig their son’s grave.

Once the grave was dug, he had the parents carry the body to the church. He then instructed them to ring the bells to gather the people from the community, which they did. He instructed them to give the mass for all those present, which was followed by conveying the body back to the cemetary where it was buried. For their work, the Indian youth placed a bag of money in their hands.  

From this city, the Indian youth continued on his journey, until he arrived at yet another city, this one ruled over by another king. He had heard that the kingdom had a challenge because it was divided by a river and one had been able to build a bridge to close this divide. He had also heard that this king had a beautiful daughter and had offered her hand in marriage to the individual who would build this bridge. In time, the Indian youth asked for an audience with the king, who he asked if what he had heard was true, about the bridge and about his daughter. 

The king responded:

“Yes, it is true, that I will give my daughter’s hand in marriage to the one that can build this bridge. But there is one condition, the gamble is on one’s life.”

“I accept your challenge and will build the bridge in three days,” boasted the youth.

“Fine, but if you do not build this bridge in three days, I will send you to the gallows, where you will be hung,” replied the king.

The next day, the Indian youth spent the entire day touring the city, taking in its sites. He did the same on the second night, which astonished everyone. When he spent the third day doing the same, the people predicted that on the fourth day the young man would be hung.  

But that evening, the young Indian pulled out his magic mirror and said:

“Magic Mirror, for the virtue you have and the one God has given you, make me a bridge from this shore to the next, such as has never seen here before.” 

And before he even finished speaking, the bridge was formed.

The next day, fully expecting the same failures that had long defined the challenge, the king walked down to the shore where he had given the challenge and was taken aback by the sight before him. He saw people passing from one side of the bridge to the other. Astonished, he walked to the bridge and began to examine it, noticing the intricate work that had been done, more than fulfilling his wish. Although he didn’t want to, keeping his word, he gave his daughter in marriage to the indigenous youth. 

Following the marriage, the king offered the youth rooms in the palace. Not wanting to live in the palace, however, he took the princess to the riverbank, near the bridge. He extended his cape on the river bank and asked that his princess lay her head down and fall asleep. Knowing that it was probably best to obey her husband, she laid down and before she knew it, had fallen into a deep sleep. He then took the mirror from his sachel and spoke: 

“Magic Mirror, for the virtue you have and the one God has given you, make me a a grand palace in this spot, one more precious and elegant than that one of the king himself. And in that palace, make a bedchamber for my new bride, one made of diamonds and emeralds. “

As soon as he had asked for it, everything was granted according to his wishes. The next day the king woke up to see the great palace in the distance and immediately came over to see what this grand ediface could be. What he found was his daughter and her husband, content and very happy. Seeing this joy and abundance, he called for the whole court to celebrate in a great feast. So grand was the celebration that to this day, it is remembered across the land.

El Indito

Está para bien saber, si fuere mentira, ya está urdida y si es verdá, para allá va. El aguardiente es pa los borrachos, las semitas pa ustedes, y el pan pa mí.

Había en una suidá un rey, y tenía un hijo joven. Cerca de la suidá había un pueblo de indios. Un día los indios fueron a pedir licencia al rey para que fuera el príncipe, su hijo, con ellos a cazar venados. El rey no quería concederles a menos de que no le dieran a él un seguro por la vida del muchacho. Los indios prometieron traile al príncipe de vuelta de la caza sin ninguna contingencia. asegurándole ellos que si no le traiban sin contingencia ninguna, morirían todos los indios, hombres y mujeres. Y el rey convino. Salieron a cazar y se llevaron al príncipe consigo.

Allá onde andaban, incontró el príncipe un venado, y lo siguió tan recio que los indios no pudieron alcanzarlo. Allá ond’ iba ya corriendo qu’ iba ya muy cansado, incontró una laguna con agua y se puso a beber agua, porque llevaba mucha sé. Pronto que bebió la agua, se transformó en venado. De modo que los indios no pudieron remediar lo sucedido y fueron muy tristes a presentarse al rey, contándole lo acaecido. El rey luego dió la sentencia para que ejecutaran la muerte de todo el pueblo de los indios, habiéndose cumplido la orden del rey inmediatamente.

Al siguiente día la reina salió a ver la mortandá de los indios yincontró un indito mamando de la mamá siendo que la mamá estaba muerta. Antonces ella se volvió a onde estaba el rey y le pidió licencia para conservar el indito como recuerdo del príncipe, su hijo. El rey le concedió y ella buscó una aya para que criara al indito en el palacio rial.

Y yendo y viniendo tiempo, pasando meses, años, días y semanas, el indito creció. Un día le dijo el indito al rey que quería ir a cazar venados.

El rey no quería pero en fin le concedió.

El indito se fué a cazar venados. Allá onde andaba incontró uno y se le perdió de vista, pero él siguió la fuella del venado hasta que llegó a una laguna onde él pensó que bebían agua los venados.

Al rato de estar esperando, vió bajar un venado y cuando se agachó el venado a beber agua, le disparó un flechazo y le pegó en el codillo. Pegó un saltido el venado, la mitá hombre y la mitá venado y le tiró el segundo flechazo y le pegó en la parte que contenía de venado y se volvió completamente hombre. L’ iba a tirar el tercer flechazo cuando le gritó:

—No me tires, que soy un príncipe.

—Tú no príncipe. Tú brujo. Hora te mato.

—No, indito, no me mates. Yo soy un príncipe y yo te pago muy bien si no me matas.

El príncipe dijo que él le daba un espejito de virtú si no lo mataba. Y le contó a] indio cómo había sido encantado y que suponía que morirían todos los habitantes de un pueblo indio que estaba en las cercanías del palacio y que sin duda él habría escapado. El indio creyó y se fueron juntos hasta la orilla de un monte, y le dice el príncipe al indio:

—Ir y pidir albricias a mi padre. Decid que yo lo aguardo aquí a la orilla de un monte, que soy su hijo.

El indito echó carrera y llegó a onde estaba el rey y le contó todo lo que había ocurrido. Antonces el rey mandó sus tropas para que salieran con él a topar a su hijo. Cuando llegaron a la suidá, hizo tres días de boda y en este tiempo salió el indito a ver ónde estaba el pueblo y sacó su espejito y le dijo:

—Espejito de virtú, por la virtú que tienes y la que Dios te ha dado, haz que este pueblo esté en la misma forma que estaba antes de que se perdiera el príncipe y que yo incuentre a mi mamá, yo la conozca a ella y ella a mí. Ypronto apareció todo el pueblo de indios con sushabitantes y él se reconoció con su mamá. Y habiéndo lo echado menos el rey, preguntó por el indito, y lo hallaron en el pueblo con la mamá, y dieron aviso al rey. El rey dió muchos presentes a la mamá del indito y un día se presentó el indito onde estaba el rey muy de mañana y le pidió al rey que le concediera la licencia de salir a andar por países extranjeros, y el rey le concedió.

Llegó a una suidá, y antes de llegar, pasó por un camposanto. Vió un cuerpo tendido en el camposanto. Cuando llegó a la suidá, preguntó qué contenía aquel cuerpo que estaba tendido ai, y le dijeron que ése era un hombre extranjero que había muerto.

—¿Por qué no enterrando?

—¿Habrás visto que tiene un plato arriba en el pecho? Y ése es pa que echen limosna, para enterrarlo, los que lo vean.

El indito preguntó que si no había padres. Le dijeron que sí, que ellos eran los que tenían el cuerpo allí para juntar la limosna, y se fué a donde estaban los padres y les preguntó por el cuerpo que había visto, y los padres le dijeron que hasta que no se juntara la limosna suficiente para poderlo enterrar, porque era extranjero. Antonces el indíto preguntó por las palas y talaches para hacer una sepultura. Los padres se opusieron, pero él los amenazó con su arco y flechas hasta que le presentaron lo necesario para abrir la sepultura. Antonces él les dijo que le fueran a enseñar ónde abrirla, y fueron dos padres a enseñarle. Antonces él le dió a uno la pala y al otro el talache y les mandó que abrieran la sepultura. Los padres no querían, pero por último se vieron los padres obligados a abrir la sepultura. y habiendo acabado todo, cargaron los padres con el cuerpo y lo llevaron a la iglesia. Antonces les dijo él que repicaran para juntar la gente. Los padres repicaron. La gente se reunió y él les dijo a los padres que le dijeran misa de cuerpo presente, y los hizo que llevaran el cuerpo y lo pusieran en la sepultura y le echaran la tierra y logo, en pago, por su trabajo. les dió un talegón de dinero.

Y de ai se fué a otra suidá en donde había otro rey que ofrecía dar a su hija para que se casara con ella al que le hiciera un puente en un río, porque estaba dividida la suidá y no podían pasar el río. Cuando el indio llegó, le preguntó el indio al rey si era verdá que él habia prometido dar a su hija al que hiciera un puente en el río para que se casara con él. Y le dijo que sí, con la condición que si no lo hacía, pena de la vida. El indíto dijo que estaba bueno, que él acetaba la oferta. Le dijo el rey cuánto tiempo quería para hacer el puente. Y él le dijo que necesitaba tres días solamente. El rey dijo que si no lo hacía en tres días, lo mandaba a horcar, y él dijo que estaba bueno.

El indio se anduvo pasiando el primer día recorriendo toda la suidá. Lo mismo hizo el segundo y el tercero. Cuando todos pensaban que al cuarto día lo iban a horcar, él, el tercer día en la noche, sacó su espejito de virtú y le dijo:

—Espejito de virtú, por la virtú que tienes y la que Dios te ha dado, hazme un puente aquí de esta orilla a la otra, muy buen puente, como nunca antes lo haigan visto aquí. Y pronto fué formada la puente.

Al siguiente día se levantó el rey y dió vista en donde había dado orden qu’ hicieran el puente y alcanzó a ver que la gente pasaba de una banda a la otra por un puente muy hermoso. Vino el rey a examinarlo y lo halló conforme sus deseos y, en cumplimiento de su palabra, hasta no queriendo, tuvo que dar a su hija al indita para que se casara.

El rey le ofreció cuartos donde viviera en el palacio pero él no quiso atetar y se llevó a la princesa a la orilla del río, cerca del puente. Tendió su tilma en la orilla del río y al durmió. La princesa obedeció a su marido y cuando el indio vió que la princesa estaba dormida, antonces sacó su espejito de virtú y le dijo:

—Espejito de virtú, por la virtú que tienes y la que Dios te ha dado, hazme un palacio aquí más bonito, más precioso que el del rey, y dame una camalta en donde se acueste la princesa, que tenga diamantes, que tenga esmeraldas.

Y pronto que le hubo pedido, todo fué concedido, según los deseos del indito y el día siguiente que se despertó el rey, alcanzó a ver el palacio y vino a ver qué era lo que pasaba. Jalló a la princesa y al indito muy gustosos y contentos. Y luego el rey, de ver a su hija en aquel palacio, tuvo mucho gusto y mandó toda la corte para hacer un festín y festejar la dicha de su hija. Estuvo tan lucido y tan bonito que hasta la presente no se me ha olvidado.