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Mitos y Leyendas: The Ovenbird

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Ovenbird, Shutterstock
  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the legend of the ovenbird.
  • The hornero is a little bird known for its ability to create its nest.
  • They are usually monogamous and here is a possible explanation.

The legend goes that in the communities living on the banks of the Paraguay River, when young people reached a certain age, they had to undergo three special tests.

The first test consisted of demonstrating their speed, running faster than the swift wind.

The second test required them to swim from one side of the river to the other, defying the strong currents.

Finally, they had to face a strange ritual: they had to lie down, completely motionless, without even blinking, for a long period of time.

A young man passes all the tests with greatness

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All the young people of the tribe trained with great dedication to overcome these tests, as passing them symbolized their transition to adulthood.

A young man named Jahé stood out for his exceptional ability. In the first test, he left his competitors behind with great speed.

While crossing the river, instead of struggling against the current like the others, Jahé collected colored pebbles from the bottom of the river.

When the time came to remain lying down without moving, he remained so still that neither jokes nor attempts to distract him could make him yield. Thus, Jahé became an adult.

An enchanting voice

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However, what no one knew was that while running, Jahé heard a female voice that seemed to be carried in the wind like the song of a bird.

That same voice encouraged him while he swam in the river and helped him to concentrate when he had to remain still.

Following the tradition of the tribe, the chief rewarded Jahé by offering him his daughter’s hand.

But Jahé could not accept that honor, as the melody he had heard during the tests accompanied him day and night. Jahé was in love with the mysterious voice.

Jahé becomes a bird

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The chief of the tribe began to grow impatient with the young man’s indecision. One day, Jahé raised his arms to the sky, asking for help from his beloved.

At that moment, he heard her voice again. Jahé’s hands began to move to the rhythm of soft music, adopting the pattern of a bird’s wings.

The observers were amazed to see how Jahé’s body began to transform into a bird and disappeared into the air as he flew.

The bird had brown plumage and was lost in the forests surrounding the Paraguay River.

The ovenbird builds his home

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He searched among the trees for his beloved, but could not find her.

He built a small mud house to shelter from the natural elements.

Finally, one morning, the sweet singer perched in his nest and from then on became his companion.

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now and thanks you for your interest and hopes you enjoyed the legend of the ovenbird. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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