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Ahaiuta and the Cloud Eater poem

The Tale of the North American Indians
It was at the very dawn of time. Far to the east of the land where the Pueblo Indians live, a terrible monster lived on the top of the mountain. He was nicknamed the Cloud Eater. It was the size of a mountain, and its mouth opened from the east far to the west. The greed of the monster was insatiable, and the clouds served as food for him.
Sometimes the Devourer was especially voracious, and then the whole earth suffered from thirst. Having dried up, corn crops died, animals suffered greatly. Only people, having saved a little food, could survive, but they also had a hard time. Many warriors sought out meetings with the Cloud Eater, but all failed because they did not have suitable magic amulets.
And far to the west of the pueblo lands lived with his grandmother a young man named Ahaiuta. He was strong, like his father Sun, and fast as a deer. Ahaiyuta dreamed of the time when he would become a great warrior. And then one day he came to his grandmother and asked:
“Set me a task so that by completing it, I can become a man and take my place in the circle of the council!
“There is a deed that no one has ever done,” his grandmother warned.
“I’m not afraid of the most difficult task,” Ahaiyuta replied. – Tell me what I have to do.
“You must defeat the Cloud Eater so that our people do not suffer from a long, severe drought,” the old woman said.
– Who is the Cloud Eater? The young man asked.
And his grandmother told him about the evil monster that had tormented people for many years and kept them in poverty.
“I’ll kill him, Grandma!” – The young man clenched his largest bow and longest arrows.
“First, granddaughters, you need to find the Cloud Eater,” the old woman said. Taking out a hidden basket, she took four feathers out of it*.- See those feathers? Stick a red feather in your hair and it will guide you on your way. The miraculous power of the blue feather will allow you to understand the speech of animals. Owning a yellow feather, you can decrease in size and become the size of the smallest animal.
– And what is the black pen for? The young man asked.
– This is the most important pen, but each of them is a great power! Keep them carefully and do not let them out of your hands for anything. A black feather, granddaughters, will give you the strength to accomplish the feat you are going for.
Early in the morning, Ahaiyuta strengthened a red feather in his hair, said goodbye to his grandmother and set off.
All day, a red feather guided him on his way. The farther east he went, the hotter the air was, the rarer the vegetation. The ground seemed scorched, and more and more often there were wide cracks in the soil. There were no beasts in sight for a long time. And suddenly Ahayuta stepped on the underground mink of the mole, and the owner himself jumped out.
-Tell me, where does the Cloud Eater live? Ahaiyut asked, sticking a blue feather in his hair.
– The Devourer’s dwelling is only a few days away, but you have to be careful. He killed all the animals, all the plants, and if he sees you, you will also perish, “the mole said, carefully looking around the horizon. – I would also die, but my house is deep underground, there I am safe.
“Through your tunnel, I will be able to get close to the house of the Cloud Eater itself,” Ahaiyuta said, “and he will not notice me.
“You’re very great,” the mole laughed.
But then, in front of his eyes, Ahaiyuta stuck a yellow feather in his hair. Immediately, he became small, no bigger than the mole itself, and easily entered his hole.
– Ah! The mole exclaimed, “You have amazing power! And besides, brave! Follow me!
Moving along the underground passage of the mole, Ahaiyuta noticed everywhere the reserves of food and water that the owner had prepared in his underground dwelling. Often they stopped to eat and rest, but did not light a fire: the owner hated smoke.
On the fourth day of the underground journey, the mole said:
We’re almost at the House of the Cloud Eater.
Then a roar was heard, and the ground shook. The walls of the manhole trembled violently, even individual pebbles fell. Soon the manhole turned up and snapped. The earthquake intensified.
“The house of the Cloud Eater is right above us,” the mole said, “Do you hear how noisy it breathes in a dream? Now the main thing is to be quiet!
“I can hear the heart of the Cloud Eater beating,” Ahaiyuta whispered, sticking a fourth, black feather into his hair.
He felt a gigantic force fill his entire body.
With the longest, straightest arrow attached, Ahaiyuta pulled the bow to the limit. He took aim directly at the spot above his head from where the heartbeat of the Cloud Eater could be heard. As soon as he lowered the string, there was a loud scream, and everything around shook. Mole and Ahthe ayutas were covered with earth and blocks of rocks.
When Achayuta came to his senses, the ground was still shaking. Everywhere in the ruins lay the huge house of the Cloud Eater, and the body of the monster stretched out like a mountain.
-You’ve defeated the Cloud Eater! – the mole cried out and started dancing with joy. – We were covered with earth when the monster beat in agony. But I dug you up. Look, your arrow hit right into the heart of the Devourer!
Friends looked at the sky and saw that it was quickly darkening, filled with clouds. Soon it was raining. It fell all over the land, from east to west.
“Our tribe will no longer suffer from the greed of the Cloud Eater,” Ahaiuta shouted.
And he too, following the mole, began the dance of the rain.
“And you have become a real man and a great warrior!” The mole replied.
So in the sultry land of the Pueblo, a drought was defeated. And people remember Ahayut and his feat with reverence to this day.

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