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Alone was Tepeu, alone was Gucumatz, alone and wrapped in the green and the azure. All was silence, all was motionlessness, all was breathlessness. There was only the boundlessness of the sky, the quietude of the waters. No thing was joined to another thing; no thing was poised; no thing held itself upright. Lo, all was silent and unruffled; all was quietude and immensity. Then, wrapped in the green and the azure, Tepeu and Gucumatz meditated, and spake together and consulted. Then they were aware of the presence of him who is Heart of the Sky, who is Hurakan. "Let this and this be done," came the word to Tepeu and Gucumatz. "Let the waters retire so that the earth may exist. Let the earth harden its surface so that it be sown with seed. Let there be human beings endowed with intelligence so that from them we may receive glory and honour." "Earth," said the Gods, and immediately earth was formed. Like great lobsters the mountains of earth appeared above the waters. Forests appeared upon the mountains. Then was Gucumatz filled with joy. He hailed Hurakan, naming the signs of him who is Heart of the Sky--the Lightning in the Vault, the Flash of Lightning, the Thunderbolt. The earth was formed with its mountains, plains, and valleys; the rivers ran in their proper courses; seeds were implanted in the earth.
Then the Gods made the creatures and gave them their places on the land, in the waters, and in the air. "Thou, Deer, shalt sleep beside where water runs; thou shalt be in the brushwood; there multiply; thou shalt go upon four feet." And to the puma, the opossum, the coyote, the porcupine, the peccary, they likewise spoke, giving these creatures their different habitations. To the birds, to the fish, they spoke also, giving them their places in the air and in the water. But
the creatures gave no answer to those who had created them: they screamed, or growled, or bleated, or twittered. Then the Gods said, "Those whom we have created are not able to utter our name. This is not well." Then they spoke to all the creatures and said, "Ye do not glorify us, but there shall yet be those who will call upon our name and be able to do our will. As for you, your flesh shall be broken under the tooth."
So the creatures went from before the Gods, each pair to their own habitation, and the Gods meditated upon the making of those who would be their supporters and their nourishers. And they made those who stood upright upon two feet, they made men out of the moist clay. But these Men of Clay could not turn their heads; they could not move of their own accord, and their sight was dim. Speech the Men of Clay had, but there was no sense in the words they uttered. The Gods broke them into pieces, and the Men of Clay moved no more upon the earth.
Then the Gods carved men out of wood. These had speech and they could move of their own accord. Also, the Gods gave them the power of generation, and they could reproduce their kind; they had posterity, and their posterity was also of wood and carved. And the Men of Wood began to be numerous on the earth.
But they did not raise their heads to the Gods; they had no thought and no memory; they had no hearts and they had no blood. And when the Gods looked upon them they saw that their faces were stiff and unchanging. And the Gods resolved to destroy the race of the Men of Wood.
So they caused a heavy and a sticky rain; it fell night and day, darkening the earth. Many of the Men of Wood were drowned by that rain. And great bats and owls attacked them, breaking their bodies with their great beaks. Seeing the bats and owls attack them, the animals, great and small, bit and tore at the Men of Wood. They ran into their houses for safety, and their houses fell down upon them. They tried to enter caves, but the caves closed themselves against them. Their own dogs bit them, their own fowls pecked at them; even their pots and cooking-utensils turned upon them. "You have burned us, you have pounded us," cried the pots and the cooking-utensils, "day and night it was holi, holi, huqui, huqui, grinding our sides because of you. Now we will pound you, now we will grind you." And pursued
by their dogs and their fowls, by their pots and their cooking-utensils, the Men of Wood ran to the forest. Some were able to climb into the trees. Those who managed to do this saved themselves; they became the little monkeys who are in our forests in our day.
Once more the Gods thought upon the creation of man; once more they took counsel with each other. They sent the Crow and the Coyote for a substance that grew at the Place of the Division of the Waters. The Crow and the Coyote brought back this substance: it was the white and the yellow maize. The Gods ground the maize; they mixed it with the blood of the Tapir and the Serpent which the Crow and the Coyote also brought to them. And Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, the Father and the Mother of the Gods, made nine broths, and the broths, entering into the substance, made muscle and sinew. The Men of Maize stood upright; they saw and they understood; they moved, and they had sense and feeling. Four were made by the Gods, and the Gods gave names to them, to the First Men. They were Balam-Quitze, Balam-Agab, Mahucutah, and Iqi-Balam, and they were our fathers.
But the Gods saw that when the First Men lifted up their heads, their gaze took in all that was before them. Nothing was hidden from them; they knew all things. "This is not well," the Gods said to one another. "These are not simple creatures; they will rival us who are their creators." The Men of Maize rendered thanks to the Gods who had created them, saying, "We speak, we understand, we think, we walk; we see what is far and what is near; we understand all things great and small, and our gaze takes in the heavens and the earth." But what they said was not welcome to Tepeu, and Gucumatz, and Hurakan. Then the Heart of the Sky breathed a cloud before the First Men so that their eyes were covered as with a mist. They saw, but they did not see clearly what was far nor what was near. Their vision and their wisdom became small--small as they are with us.
The First Men slumbered, and during their slumber wives were made and brought to their sides. When they wakened they knew their wives, and the hearts of the First Men were filled with gladness. Children were born to them and the race of men increased and multiplied. They said prayers to the Maker, the Former, the Heart of the Sky. They prayed that children might be given them. They prayed, too, that
light might come into the world. In the time of the First Men there was no sun in the sky.
In Tulan-Zuiva, the Place of the Seven Caves and the Seven Ravines, gods were given them, a god for each clan of men. Tohil was the god given to Balam-Quitze. Tohil gave Balam-Quitze's clan the gift of fire, and when the first flame was extinguished by rain, he made fire for them again by striking the ground with his sandal. Men of other clans came to the clan that had Tohil for its god, and, with chattering teeth, begged fire from them. But fire would not be given them, and they went away, their hearts filled with misery. In those days there was no sun to give warmth to the men who were upon the earth.
Men grew disheartened waiting for the sun to appear. Anxiously they looked for the coming of the Morning Star, which should appear before the sun's first rising. The star did not appear. Then the First Men resolved that they would go to the place that was known to them as "The Place of Sunrise."
As they started from Tulan-Zuiva for that place, a bird cried out to them, "Ye shall die, ye shall be lost. I am your portent, and I say that to you. Do you not believe me?" But the First Men went out without heeding the wailing of that bird that was called "The guard of the ravine." They went on and the owl prophesied to them, "Ye shall die, ye shall be lost." They went on without heeding the owl. The parrot cried out to them, "Ye shall die, ye shall be lost." But the First Men answered the parrot back, saying, "Thou wailest when it is spring; it is because the rain has ceased that thou dost wail. To us thou art no portent." They went to the sea-shore, but the water they could not cross. Then the staff that one had taken in his hands as they went out of the gate of Tulan-Zuiva they put into the sands. The waters then divided, and the First Men crossed from that place. He who is called Zakiqoxol they met upon their way. "Who are these children who come this way?" Zakiqoxol shouted out. "Who art thou? Why barrest thou our road?" the First Men cried. "Do not kill me; I, who am here, I am the burning heart of the forest." The First Men gave clothing to him; they gave him his blood-red cuirass, his blood-red shoes, the dying garment of Zakiqoxol.
And going past the place that Zakiqoxol guarded they came to the Place of Sunrise. They burned incense. And they saw the
[paragraph continues] Morning Star. They watched it, its splendour growing as it rose in the sky. Then they saw the dawn coming. The sun appeared, and the animals, great and small, prostrated themselves as its light came upon them. The sun was not great and bright as it is now with us; it was small, pale, and shadowy. Nevertheless, it dried up the dampness that was upon the earth, making it more fit for men to live on.
Also at the first appearance of the sun the great First Beasts were turned into stone--the First Jaguar, the First Puma, the First Snake; also the gods of the clans were changed into stone: Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz felt their arms stiffen like the branches of trees; then in all their parts they became stone. Had the great First Beasts stayed upon the earth all creation would have been destroyed by them; and the gods who were turned into stone would have made life burdensome for men.
Now the First Men, the Four Brothers, had come to the mountain Hacavitz; they had seen the mountain lighted by the sun, and by the moon, and by the stars. Yet sorrow came upon them because of their memory of those whom they had left behind them. "Truly, indeed," they sang, "we have beheld the Sun, but where now are they, when at last the day of sunrising has come?" Then they sang, "Lo, we make our return; our work is done; our days are complete." And singing this the Four Brothers went into the mountain, leaving no track behind them.