Dear friends who love literature.
I am responding to the invitation of @theinkwell of @jaina and @agmoore
This week's indication makes me thankful to have lived surrounded by legends, among them the legend of the origin of San Antonio de Capayacuar, which I used as leitmotif in my story.
I leave you with my exercise, thanking you in advance for your kind reading.
The snake in the lake
Ever since I was a child a dream has accompanied me. I see myself being born, but I don't go through my mother's womb, I crawl out of the skin of a snake.
My dream has never caused me fear or anguish. On the contrary, I wake up with a feeling of well-being, curiosity and power that energises my day.
I was still very young when I would stare in ecstasy at the pictures of snakes and recognise in them, in spite of the poor colour of the images compared to the shimmering brightness of my dreams, a sense of truth.
Perhaps you will understand if I say that I seemed to read in the eyes of the snakes the possibility of entering a very ancient world. When I grew up a little and began to receive my first lessons at school it seemed to me very logical, and consistent, that a snake should live in the tree of knowledge and generously offer it to Eve.
Years later I was able to understand the legend of a giant who sought immortality after the death of his friend. Gilgamesh traversed the world in search of the desired perpetuity. When he finally found the plant that restored youth, a serpent took it from his hands, leaving Gilgamesh with the anguish of death that separates us from the gods.
In my youth, before deciding on my choice of profession, I compiled, without knowing why, various expressions of legends with snakes as protagonists: scorching snakes, healing snakes, snakes representing the cycle of life, eternal snakes that bite their tails, snakes that became demons for humans, thus fulfilling the divine curse ...
At that stage my parents detected my obsession. I began to imagine about underground snakes, drawing tunnels under houses, markets, schools, churches... I would bring up a meandering subterranean world that peeked out from the floors of the cities, but that would sink deep into the earth until it reached its centre to continue downwards and appear in all directions where people have lived in the world.
Fortunately I was at the age when young people choose their university careers and I stepped out of my parents' field of vision. I chose a career that would allow me to satisfy my curiosity about snake legends and ended up graduating as an anthropologist specialising in myths and legends. My parents were pleased to see that what they considered a worrying sign could have a useful application and never touched the subject again.
I have never stopped reviewing my drawings from my youth, I always carry them with me. In them I mark the villages I visit around the world, searching among the people of different languages for the stories they tell of a beginning so far away, so distant, that it was lost in time.
Gradually my dream, where I shed a snakeskin, has become richer. Now in it my body is not that of a child, but that of an adolescent. When I shed my serpentine skin I see a lake, a large blue lake, with a mirror-like surface, which I can reach on foot. There is something in that lake that attracts me, that calls me to its shore; when I look out I see not my reflection but that of a lily, while I hear a female voice intoning a guttural, low, wordless melody.
I can't answer which turn of the road brought me to this village, lost in the mountains.
Here I found the lilies of my dreams. A path of multicoloured lilies, white, yellow, lilac, green and orange leads to the mountain. The locals say that from this mountain comes a spring of water that feeds a lake.
They say that in the early days two little brothers tried to fill their water pots, when a large snake came to the surface, grabbed the girl in its jaws, and returned to the lake. The girl was never heard from again. A variant of the legend speaks of the powers of a piache who dived into the lake, brought the snake to the ground, opened its bulging belly and pulled out the dead girl, who was deposited on the ground and became a small lagoon.
The vast majority of the villagers claim that over the centuries, and the millennia, the little girl has become a pubescent girl, emerging from the lake just at the moment of twilight. The people say that many ancestors saw her collecting lilies, while singing an ancient mating song.
Having picked up the legend, I decided to be at the lake at the time of twilight. Beforehand, I scrupulously tidied up my things, I sent my files to Mircea, the best anthropologist in the world, the one who shares with me the idea that myths and legends contain an incontestable truth. A student accompanying me will keep my drawings while I return.
I am already here, the sky is dyed with colours, it competes with the lilies. I am calm. I have waited for this moment since I was a child.
There the head of the beautiful snake peeps out. An impetuous murmur of water intertwines with that of a delicate drizzle, which makes the delicious perfume of the earth rise.
I inhale the petrichor as I hear the song. On an iridescent wave of the immense serpent she comes, precious. She clutches a bouquet of lilies. She is my bride.