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p. 33

I. Chapter 9

The third of the arrogant ones was the second son of Vucub-Caquix who was called Cabracán.

"I demolish the mountains," he said.

But Hunahpú and Xbalanqué also defeated Cabracán. Huracán, Chipi-Caculhá, and Raxa-Caculhá talked and said to Hunahpú and Xbalanqué:

"Let the second son of Vucub-Caquix also be defeated. This is our will, for it is not well what they do on earth, exalting their glory, their grandeur, and their power, and it must not be so. Lure him to where the sun rises," said Huracán to the two youths.

"Very well, honored sir," they answered, "because what we see is not right. Do you not exist, you who are the peace, you, Heart of Heaven?" said the boys as they listened to the command of Huracán.

Meanwhile, Cabracán was busy shaking the mountains. At the gentlest tap of his feet on the earth, the large and small mountains opened. Thus the boys found him and asked Cabracán:

"Where are you going, young man?

"Nowhere," he answered," here I am moving the mountains, and I am leveling them to the ground forever," 1 he answered.

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Then Cabracán asked Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, "What did you come to do here? I do not recognize you. What are your names?" said Cabracán.

"We have no names," they answered, "we are nothing more than shooters of blowguns and hunters with bird-traps on the mountains. We are poor and we have nothing, young man. We only walk over the large and small mountains, young man, and we have just seen a large mountain, over there where you see the pink sky. 2 It really rises up very high and overlooks the tops of all the hills. So it is that we have not been able to catch even one or two of the birds on it, boy. But, is it true that you can level all the mountains?" Hunahpú and Xbalanqué asked Cabracán.

"Have you really seen the mountain of which you speak? Where is it? If I see it, I shall demolish it. Where did you see it?"

"Over there it is, where the sun rises," said Hunahpú and Xbalanqué.

"Very well, show me the road," he said to the two boys.

"Oh no!" they answered. "We must take you between us. One shall go at your left and the other at your right, because we have our blowguns, and if there should be birds we can shoot them." And so they set out happily, trying out their blowguns. But when they shot with them, they did not use the clay pellets in the tube of the blowgun; instead they felled the birds only with the puff of air when they shot them, which surprised Cabracán very much.

Then the boys built a fire and put the birds on it to roast, but they rubbed one of the birds with chalk, 3 covering it with a white earth soil.

"We shall give him this," they said, "to whet his appetite with the odor which it gives off. This bird of ours shall be

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his ruin, as we cover this bird with earth so we shall bring him down to the earth and bury him in the earth.

"Great shall be the wisdom of a created being, of a being fashioned, when it dawns, when there is light," said the boys. 4

"As it is natural for man to wish to eat, so Cabracán desires food," said Hunahpú and Xbalanqué to each other.

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Meanwhile the birds were roasting, they were beginning to turn golden brown, and the fat and juice which dripped from them made an appetizing odor. Cabracán wanted very much to eat them; they made his mouth water, he yawned, and the saliva and spittle drooled because of the smell which the birds gave off.

Then he asked them: "What is that you eat? The smell is really savoury. Give me a little piece," he said to them.

Then they gave a bird to Cabracán, the one which would be his ruin; and when he had finished eating it, they set out toward the east where the great mountain was. But already Cabracán's legs and hands were weakening and he had no strength because of the earth with which the bird he had eaten was rubbed, and he could do nothing to the mountains. Neither was it possible to level them.

Then the boys tied him, they tied his hands behind him and also tied his neck and his feet together. Then they threw him to the ground and there they buried him.

In this way Cabracán was overcome by Hunahpú and Xbalanqué. It would be impossible to tell of all the things they did here on earth.

Now we shall tell of the birth of Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, having first told of the destruction of Vucub-Caquix and that of Zipacná and of Cabracán, here on earth.


36:1 p. 206 Chi be quih, chi be zac literally means "as long as there is sun and light."

36:2 Xa qo qu'il caquiyc. Brasseur de Bourbourg and Raynaud translate it "there where large precipices are seen." The neuter verb caquer, caquic, means the sky is suffused or is aflame with the red light of dawn.

36:3 Tahcab, in Maya and Quiché, chalk or natural lime cement.

36:4 Ve nima etamanel hun tzac, hun bit ta ch'auax oc, ta zaquir oc, x-e cha ri qaholab. This sentence, says Brasseur de Bourbourg, is extremely confusing and appears to have little relation with the history. The sentence is certainly incongruous, but Brasseur de Bourbourg did not translate it well either.

Next: II. Chapter 1