Author Topic: Toucan Moon--The Legend Begins  (Read 1312 times)

Offline ZooDoc

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Toucan Moon--The Legend Begins
« on: June 09, 2006, 12:46:26 AM »
Toucan Moon—The Legend Begins

    Danger lurks in the jungle as a husky jaguar stalks prey.  Down in the underbrush, a Mountain Cow and her calf forage peacefully, unaware that the big cat has menacing yellow eyes focused on the young tapir.  As the male panther inches ever closer, a flock of hyacinth and blue/gold macaws squawks a warning from the fronds of a nearby cohune palm, causing the tapirs to bolt.   The whole jungle gets quiet when the jaguar roars.   

    Skimming the rain forest of the Yucatan, a black-and-white condor searches for food—sharp talons eager to snatch a tasty meal.  His powerful eyes focus on a troupe of black howler monkeys playing in a stand of mahogany.  He zooms past, putting an end to their playfulness as one of their members gets carried away.     

    When the sun sets, the jungle becomes painted gloriously in hews of red/orange.  Xunantunich cannot be hidden from that burning glow, though she seems surrounded by the forest overgrowth.  This magnificent edifice, the ancient Mayan temple of human sacrifice, is now mute.  The only reminder of her horrible rituals is the red moss running down the sides of the rock altar—reminiscent of ghastlier days when human blood frequently flowed down those cold, unfeeling stones.

    This brings to mind an ancient legend, a story of heroism and courage and respect for the human spirit.  It is called the legend of Toucan Moon. 

    In 850 A.D., a condor hovers above the red-painted pyramid of Xunantunich, joined by a motley accumulation of King Vultures gripping thermals, spiraling, searching, seemingly in expectation of a bounteous meal.  They focus attention on the temple’s very pinnacle, higher even than the altar, where a colorful toucan is nesting peacefully.  Creeping up behind the toucan is the shimmering full moon.  Ascending just above the temple, the crimson MOON frames the keel-billed TOUCAN.  Suddenly, the beautiful bird is frightened away by ominous sounds of sacrificial drums, and the reverberation of Maya priests chanting:  “Ah-m-m.  Ah-m-m.” 

    Condor replaces the toucan on the pinnacle perch, as the other vultures continue circling.  From his vantage point, torches light the temple.  There are many war-painted guards on and around the temple, in loincloth and with shield and spear.

    Down on the courtyard floor, there are two priests beating log drums, and two are blowing conch horns and dancing feverishly.  Also there are 800 worshipers kneeling in the dirt, and chanting:  “Koom Kamenkamen,” while a young mother and her 9-year-old daughter are whispering:
   
    “Why do we have to be here, mother?”
   
    “Be still, my love.  It's the law.”

    “I want to leave.”

    “No, Honeybee.  We must appease the moon god.”

    “Why is Ixchel so blood-thirsty?”

    “Sh-h-h!  The guards.”   

    Between the worshipers and the temple, off to one side, is the Royal Platform which seats the king’s family.  Ramenkamen and his wife are dressed in beaded robe and tunic respectively, with a feathered headdress and shell jewelry.  Zlenka and her husband are costumed likewise.  And the three boys and five girls are clad in sarongs and tunics respectively, also with beads and feathers and shells.  Two nurses watch over the children to the rear of the platform, while two fanners stand by the adults.  And two guards are stationed on either side of the platform.

    Worshipers chant:  “Koom Kamenkamen!  Koom Kamenkamen!”

(Observations are welcome, please.)
ZooDoc, "Sculptor of Words"
"Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You do not quit when you're tired -You quit when the gorilla is tired." -Robert Strauss

sjreed56

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Re: Toucan Moon--The Legend Begins
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 01:23:15 AM »
You’re back at it. I’m so glad. Can’t wait to read more. They aren’t going to sacrifice that little girl, are they?

Offline ZooDoc

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Re: Toucan Moon--The Legend Begins
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 01:25:32 AM »
We shall see.
ZooDoc, "Sculptor of Words"
"Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You do not quit when you're tired -You quit when the gorilla is tired." -Robert Strauss