Legends of Mexico

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

The Little Animal that Sings

Three centuries ago, a young Spaniard left the capital of New Spain for Guanajuato. He was looking for silver. He hoped to become rich in a short time. Then he would return to Spain and marry his sweetheart.

For many weeks, the young man looked for the silver mines, but he couldn't find even one. One night, tired and cold, he went to an Indian village at the foot of the mountains. The chief of the tribe invited him to spend the night in his little house. The young man accepted the invitation with much pleasure. He lay down on a straw mat and slept very well. But about six in the morning he woke up. He heard the noise made by many Indians who were running and singing. The young man put on his boots and went out of the little house to talk to the chief.

"Good morning, sir. What's happening? Why are the young men running and singing?"

"Oh," the chief answered, "our young men are singing to the sun. They're telling it that it is time to wake up and to begin its trip across the sky."

The young Spaniard was surprised. He looked at the Indians who were running and singing to the east of the village. They continued their singing until the sun appeared. At that moment, they all shouted happily.

Rooster"Do the young men have to awaken the sun every morning?" the young Spaniard asked.

"Yes, it's true. Don't you do it in your village?" the chief asked.

The Spaniard wanted to laugh, but he did not. "Oh no, sir. We have a little animal that wakes up the sun every morning. That's why we don't have to get up early."

"A little animal? What kind?" asked the Indians.

"We call it a rooster," the Spaniard answered.

"Can you bring us a rooster?" the chief asked.

Suddenly the young man had an idea that could be of good use to him. Therefore, he answered, "I'm going to bring you a rooster if you promise to tell me where there is a large silver mine."

After much discussion, the Indians promised to tell him where it was. Then the Spaniard left and in three days he returned with a large and beautiful rooster.

That night only the children were able to sleep. The adults were so nervous they couldn't shut their eyes. What was going to happen if the rooster did not wake up the sun? Hours went by—four o'clock, five o'clock. A few minutes before six, the rooster woke up and flew to the rooftop of the chief's house. It crowed in a loud voice—once, twice. Soon one could see the first rays of the sun in the east. A few seconds later, the rooster crowed several times more. Then the whole, round sun appeared. What happiness reigned among all the adults!

The following months, the Indians helped the Spaniard find all the silver he wanted. He became rich and soon left Mexico for Spain where he married his sweetheart.

It is said that even to this day, the Indians who live at the foot of the mountain in Guanajuato really love the rooster that wakes up the sun.