By: Salvador Magana.
One day, as the sun risen by the mountains, two members of a tribe older than beef stew were getting ready to take the annual tribute to the God of Snow in the high peak mountain. Every year for the last 2,000 years a tribute had been presented to the God of Snow in order for him to allow the snow to melt and come down the mountain into the village to the tribe “Pokavord”. One of the favorite tributes of the God were BBQ ribs and tacos. Dried food was the thing back in those years, for water was only used for drinking and showering. No one in the tribe had yet attempted to use water for cooking, no one had come up with the idea.
As the two members, Tall and Short, to give them a name since no names were available yet, were getting ready to start the half a day walk to the peak of the mountain, a really strong earthquake shaken the land making every body afraid that the god of snow was getting hungry, so with no time to waste, Tall and Short got on their way to the snow mountain.
Tall was so skinny of a guy, if he climbed a tree, his arms and legs could easily get confused for branches, which was weird for a guy well known in the village to be a able to eat half a mammoth in two days. The tribe didn’t understand how that was possible, then again in those years the tribe was not really able to understand much happening around them. Life was about hunting, eating, dancing and sleeping. With that said, you might be thinking, “What made them select this guy to go in such important trip?” Tall was the fastest hunter among the tribe members, that and his camouflage ability, made him to be selected among the members in the tribe as one of the person to take the tribute to the Snow God.
Short on the other hand, was a chubby fellow. As heavy as a rock, he was the member in the tribe helping with the hard work needed around. If a tornado threaten the tribes food support, cows and sheep, Short was the guy to hold them by the foot and keep them down on the ground. Not like Tall, short could eat just a leg of mammoth and gain three times the weight. I know, weird members right? but according to the tribe, their abilities complemented each other in order to make sure the tribute for the year would get safe and sound to the Snow God.
The tribute this year consisted of something different, even though the Snow God prefer BBQ and/or Tacos, this year the tribe decided to send something special, you see, last year the Snow God had been really mercy full, allowing more snow than usual to melt and come down the river for no particular reason, therefor instead of sending any of the god’s favorites, this year they decided to send a whole cow, with a wagon full of vegetables.
And so there went, Tall and Short in their trip to the snow mountain with their cow pulling on a wagon full of vegetables.
2/3 of their trip had already passed. Tall and Short were already half the way up of the snow mountain when they decided to take a break. The snow, as white as clouds, covered the entire road, the entire mountain. White all the way down and white all the way up. The two fellows covered in their mainly hair from head to toe, helped them protect themselves from the slight breeze brushing the mountain from peak to bed.
As they each prepared to sit on a piece of leopard skin placed on the snow to take a break and eat a carrot or two, the snow in their fingers burnt with cold. “Ah” came out of Tall’s mouth as he shaken the snow of his hands. Short could not helped it and laughed. The cow sitting down and eating some carrots as well looked at the two individuals as peaceful as it could, enjoying just the carrots with eyes half way opened in delight of the carrots taste.
Short got curious as for why Tall had screamed when touching the snow, so there he was, Short, touching the snow as well. It was the first time for them two to see the snow and play with it, for every year different people were selected in order to take the tribute. Short felt the snow a little more carefully since Tall’s reaction had prepared him for it. As Short dug his chubby index finger in the snow in a twirly motion, he felt the cold burning to his bone. “Ah” he exclaimed as well. Now Tall laughed. With a feeling of revenge, short grabbed some shapeless snow in his hands and threw it at Tall. Hitting it right on the face, Tall got mad and proceeded to throw snow at Short as well. Back and forth they went throwing snow as if in the middle of a battlefield and with snow as their ammo, scaring the cow with their aggression. Some snow hit the cow on its face making it stand up and run with its sharp horns towards them. Scare, Tall and Short run away from it into a path of the mountain no one had ever explored before, for branches would get on their way.
Running from the cow they both stopped right on the edge of what seem like really hot water, a hot spring they had discover. The ox unable to stop felt into the water together with the wagon full of vegetables. Frighten on their faces and a big scream, as for Tall and Short saw the tribute sinking in the hot water. Short made an attempt to jump into the hot spring in order to save the tribute, when a skinny hairy hand pulled him backwards from his long hair. Tall threw Short on the floor and showed him what had happened to the cow and the vegetables, trying to explain that the same thing would happened to him if he attempted to rescue the tribute. Carefully they went down the path next to the bowling water, and they sat next to it thinking about what had happened and how doomed they were. No more tribute meant an angry god and no tribute plus an mad tribe. “Gulp” their throats went at the same time, as if swallowing the dryness of pain and disappointment away. They looked for a sign of the cow or the vegetables but nothing was visible. As they got ready to leave and go back to the village, a carrot popped up making them jumped back. Then a tomato popped up making them walked towards the water and getting to their knees to appreciate that their eyes were not tricking them. Now an onion popped up and eventually one after another, all vegetables came afloat, but no sign of the cow. They grabbed some sticks from around and started pulling the vegetables out, they though that if at least they took the vegetables to the god, he wouldn’t be so mad, after all, a little tribute would be better than no tribute at all. Surprised that the vegetables were floating in the water, they realized they were now soft and wet. As they leaned forward, the smell of what got to be called beef stew, as years passed,got to their noses. Deliciousness in their brains, their eating instinct made them try it. Tasting delicious, they couldn’t believe it, for the vegetables and the cow got cooked together and made the water taste so much better, warm in their tummy, this two individuals as excited as little kids discovering the power of glue for the first time, run up the mountain to show to the Snow God of their new discovery, since no tribute was present at the moment, the two fellows gestured the big white god, yes like a big snow man, to follow them.
Once down in the hot spring, they invited him to try the water to what he accepted and to Tall’s and Short’s surprise, he loved it.
Back down in the village, Tall and Short gestured and draw their story, intriguing every one for the end was unexpected, the only way to know if the god had been really happy and satisfied was by waiting for next year to see the flow of the water down the mountain, in the river to the village.
Short enough time passed by and the village, anxiously counted the days for the water to start flowing, and so it happened, the water started flowing and as months passed, the tribe noticed that more water was running to the river giving more water to the tribe in order to grow more vegetables and take good care of the cattle for the Snow God had a new favorite, and so there was beef stew from then on.