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The Legend of Popo and Izta

AN ETERNAL PROMISE

Many moons ago and many suns there was a town that the gods called Tlaxcala. They were men of peace, but they did not have it because from other roads a people came to subdue them and enslave them, a powerful people whom they all feared ... the Mexicas.

Among the Tlaxcalans was born a princess, so beautiful, that her face competed with that of clouds, mountains and stars. His name was Iztaccihuatl.

Among the Tlaxcalans a poor and courageous man was born, they called him Popocatepetl.

One day a wind came blowing between them. The wind went from Iztaccihuatl to Popocatepetl, and returned to it; this wind got between their bodies and tied them with a love that could never be released.

Popocatépetl went before Iztaccihuatl's father and confessed that he loved his daughter; that he would do anything to always be by his side. The father, king of the Tlaxcalans, told him to go to battle and bring the heads of his enemies, the Mexicas.

Popo said goodbye to Iztaccihuatl and left for war. The days, the weeks, the months passed and Popo did not return.

Another warrior in love approached Iztaccihuatl and confessed that Popo had died in combat. The princess sank into despair during many suns, many moons and lots of rain.

Little by little her beauty was transformed into sadness. His luminous face clouded forever, his skin withered like dry earth. The Tlaxcala people felt sorry for Iztaccihuatl.

Not even the wind saved her. Over time his grief became overwhelming, and he died.

But he died badly, because he died for a lie. Exhausted, wounded and confused, Popo arrived that same day of the war. His people had been defeated again and after a long time he had escaped from the cell in which he was taken prisoner.

It was late. The sun went down and the stars piled up all over the sky to watch over the princess. The people witnessed the pain of Popocatépetl in silence.

The next morning, Popo decided to take Izta away, to a place where the gods could caress her and warm her with her breath. He gathered 20,000 men and with them he piled ten hills one on top of the other to approach the sun. She carried the body of Iztaccihuatl to the top and stayed by his side, looking at her, kissing her from time to time, and lighting her with a torch at night.

Many suns passed, many moons, many wars and lots of rain, and Popo was still at his side.

Seeing this, the gods sheltered them with branches and snow so that they would stay together and frozen forever. Their love was so great that it swelled the earth that buried them until they became volcanoes.

The volcanoes are still seen from afar, they are observed by the Tlaxcaltecas and the Mexicas. From time to time Popo's burning heart expires, and he throws fire and smoke that rises and gets confused with the clouds.

The warrior who lied trying to steal the princess's love was punished by the gods. They covered him with snow and condemned him to be another mountain that in the distance will see eternally how Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl are still together. The liar is now called Citlaltépetl.

Leyenda del Popo y el Izta

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