Legends are very old stories that have been passed down from generation to generation orally and that they finally reached us. Most of them are related to phenomena of nature or those that people could not understand in their day.
On this occasion, we offer you a very original Mayan legend that tries to explain why deer have that particular hair color. The legend is called 'The skin of the deer', and is adapted for children to understand.
Legend has it that a long time ago the deer had a very different coat color the one they have today. It was very clear, almost albino, so that I was easy prey, since any other animal or even man could see him in the distance with great ease.
In fact, hunters loved deer, because it was tasty, had very warm skin, and was very easy to catch. With all this, the deer was about to become extinct during the time of the Mayans.
One day, a small deer that was drinking water in a river heard screams: they were hunters approaching. Suddenly they began to shoot arrows and the deer, very scared, ran away. The hunters chased him and the poor fawn, trying to outwit an arrow, fell down an embankment into a semi-hidden cave.
But it turns out three good geniuses lived in the cave. When they heard the deer complain, they came to see what was happening. The poor thing, he had hurt his leg when he fell. The geniuses healed his wound and suggested that he hide in the cave for a few days.
The deer was so grateful that it never stopped licking the hands of the geniuses as a sign of affection. And they too began to love the animal.
A few days later, the fawn healed of the wounds and said goodbye to the geniuses to leave the cave, but before leaving, one of the geniuses said:
- Wait, fawn! We want to grant you a gift before you leave. Think carefully, what would you like to receive?
The deer thought for a moment and said happily:
- I wish all of my kind could better protect ourselves from humans, so they couldn't hunt us down so easily.
- Good decision- answered the second genius- Come here-
The fawn approached and the genie grabbed some dirt from the path and tossed it over the deer. Immediately its fur it turned the same color as sand.
So the third genius added the following:
- From now on, the deer's skin will have the same color as the earth. This way, men won't be able to tell you apart so easily. And if you ever find yourself in serious danger, you can go deep into the caves to hide.
The deer, grateful, he ran in search of his companions to give them the good news. Since that day, the deer has that characteristic earth color, a color that camouflages them and helps them flee from hunters. Thanks to geniuses, the species managed to survive to this day.
Find out if your child paid attention to the story and understood it. You can use these questions:
- What color were deer before?
- What problem did they have?
- How many geniuses lived in the cave where the fawn fell?
- What gift did geniuses give the fawn?
- What color is the deer's skin now?
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