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The Legend of the Dwarf
The Dwarf was well, short. But his powers were mighty, afterall he had his mother to back him up!
Even the King wanted to see how far the little dwarf would go!
In the ancient Mayan village of Uxmal lived an old woman. She was the Oracle of the city and she knew all the mysteries of the stars and carried stardust with her. She could heal people of any disease. She knew to heal humans, animals, plants and earth alike. The Oracle could ward off pestering spirits. She could even bless people to have children or for their children to become Chiefs.
But the old Oracle was lonely. She did-not have any children even though she loved kids. She loved to play with them and to tell them stories. But the children in the city was scared of her long robes and walking stick and they would-not play with the old Oracle.
One day she decided to pray to God Chic Chan for a child she could call her own. The God answered her prayers, but brought her the shell of a large turtle. The Old Oracle looked after and took good care of the shell for a long time. Several months later, a tiny, green baby with red hair was born out of the shell. Ohh!! the Oracle was so happy that she could-not contain her joy “My King is born” she shouted out to the world.
Years went by and the Old Oracle brought up the little green kid with much love and affection. But soon enough, it was hard to ignore the fact that the little green kid was not getting any bigger in size. The years went by and he was not getting bigger than a one year old. Soon people started calling him a Dwarf.
The Dwarf’s friends and the villagers would make fun of him behind his back. But his mother, the old Oracle would always tell him that he is going to be a great King. He was the apple of her eye. And he adored his mother equally. He started to spend less time with his friends and preferred to help out the Oracle with household chores and she would in turn teach him magic. It was a good life!
One day, while he was playing, the Dwarf made a Tunkul – a rattle made out of dried vegetable and played it. To his surprise the Tunkul made a very big sound which echoed across the city and reached even the Palace of the King in Kabah. It shook the entire city because, it was predicted long ago that when the Tunkul’s song was heard, the reign of the current King would come to an end. The current ruler enjoyed his powers and he was furious that he was being challenged. However the old Oracle knew that it was time to celebrate, for her son was soon going to be the King
When the King got to know that it was the little Dwarf who sounded the Tunkul, he laughed aloud and said “A Dwarf?? What a joke! Well, just to follow the tradition, I will ask him for a duel. I will set up three tests and if he passes them, he gets my Throne.”
The Dwarf did-not know his own strength and was scared of what was going to happen. He always thought he was too small for the world. It was certain that the King would try to kill him. But the Oracle comforted her son and told “I have trained you enough my Love. I trust you to pass all the Tests”.
The first day of Trials dawned. The Dwarf visited the King in his Palace in Kabah. As soon as the King saw the little Dwarf he laughed aloud and made fun of the Dwarf. Then he said “Okay little one, let us get this going. First,” instructed the King, “build a long road of stones, very straight, and very white from my Palace till your hut.”
The Dwarf sought his Mother’s blessings and his mother appeared in his mind and told him “You can do it. Ask the King to place the first stone, and you will complete the rest.” He requested the King to place the first stone.
The King placed the first heavy stone with much effort and thought to himself “This stone is so heavy. It is as big as the Dwarf himself. There is no way he is going to build a long road.”
But much to the King’s dismay, aided by the magic taught by the Oracle, the Dwarf easily built the long, straight road between Uxmal and Kabah.
The King was angry that a Dwarf could challenge him and win a trial, so he gave the Dwarf an impossible second trial.
“Tonight you must build a house taller than any other in our land, and if the house is not finished by sunrise, you will die,” said the King.
Now, that was a hard one. The Dwarf ran home crying, but his Mother consoled him and asked him to sleep without worries. He trusted his Mother and he went to sleep, tired after a day’s work of building the road.
To his own surprise, the Dwarf woke up the next day lying on top of the tallest pyramid in the land. His mother, the old Oracle, had used magic to create the tallest pyramid and he thanked her profusely for he was saved from a death sentence.
The King woke up the next day hoping to put the Dwarf to death. But when he looked out of his window, he could see a beautiful and tall pyramid, shining in the sun, at a distance. The King became even more furious, and demanded to see the Dwarf to challenge him the third and last time.
“Go get three of the hard fruit of that tree, and return immediately,” instructed the King. The city had hard fruits growing in a tree that was very hard to crack open. “We will keep this fruit on our head and will hit each other over the head until the fruit cracks open.” The king continued. “I will crack open the fruit in your head first”
The Dwarf ran home to his Mom, as he knew that the King wished to kill him by hitting on his head. But the old Oracle comforted him and asked him to trust himself. Then she rubbed a corn tortilla on top of his head and chanted some spells. The Dwarf thanked his Mom and returned to the King with the hard, round fruit.
The Dwarf stood ready in front of the King with his eyes closed. The King laughed and aimed for the Dwarf’s head with a thick wooden club. “Whaaaaaackkkkk” went down the club. Everyone in the crowd gasped. To everyone’s great surprise, the hard fruit had broken into two but the little Dwarf ’s head was intact. The Dwarf smiled and said “My turn now, your Majesty.”
The whole city was watching the duel, so the King had to keep his word and allow the Dwarf to have his turn. The Dwarf did-not hesitate.
Once the King stood before him with the hard fruit on his head, the dwarf took a single swing of the club over the King’s head. The King had no magic in him and he fell down dead.
The Dwarf was declared as the clear winner by the entire city, and he became the new King of the land. He had made his mother- the old Oracle – proud. Despite his small size he ruled the land for many years. Uxmal expanded to be a great city, even greater that Kabah. The great pyramid at Uxmal is now known as the Pyramid of the Dwarf, or Pyramid of the Magician.
Dwarf or King. Big or small. You are mighty powerful just the way you are. Believe in yourself!