Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Tale of Pétíso

As the world grows dark, we pause now to celebrate the holy day of the God of Death, Pétíso!

6-Lower Ape Cave

When the gods were young and Pétíso’s father, Korutuzho, God of Agriculture, ruled the universe with capricious and malevolent will, Pétíso and His siblings held a secret meeting. Chief among Them was Sozho, High God of Air, Who was itching to challenge His father and rule the universe Himself. Also there were Nuvíní, High Goddess of Earth; Vasataté, God of Oceans; and Voro, God of Hearth Fire. All had had enough of the rule of the older generation and the evil that Their father had become. Unanimously, They declared war upon Korutuzho.

The young gods and the old gods met on the field of battle. Deftly fighting from His ink-black chariot drawn by four black stallions, Pétíso defeated all the demigods Who came His way, but never was able to corner His father or one of His uncles. The two armies fought to a draw.

Pétíso donned His Helm of Darkness, rendering Him invisible. Since the other gods could still see His chariot racing across the field, He abandoned it and fought on foot. Still, Korutuzho’s demons and demigods blocked Pétíso with their ever-increasing pile of dead bodies. Korutuzho maintained His hold on the Tablet of Destinies, and thus control of the universe.

When night fell, the two armies retired to their camps. With the Helm of Darkness firmly upon His head, Pétíso walked to His father’s camp, invisible to all guards and sentries. Although He could have walked up to Korutuzho and slit His throat, Pétíso instead chose the honorable path and destroyed the weapons of Korutuzho’s army. Tent by tent, Pétíso bent the swords and broke the arrows of every god, demigod, and demon allied with His father.

The next morning, Pétíso and His siblings waited on the battlefield for Their father. Eventually, Korutuzho arrived carrying nothing but the Tablet of Destinies. Knowing that it must have been Pétíso Who conquered Him, Korutuzho began handing the tablet to Pétíso. Sozho, however, lunged forward and snatched the Tablet of Destinies for Himself.

Not wishing to fight His brother so soon after Their joint victory, Pétíso did not challenge Sozho. Instead, He suggested that They decide Who among Them would rule each aspect of the universe. Sozho claimed the air for Himself, since He wanted to be above everyone. Nuvíní claimed the land and all that grows from it. Vasataté claimed the oceans. Voro claimed fire. Lacking anything physical left to rule, Pétíso claimed the souls of all living beings to be His domain.

Dejected and forgotten, Korutuzho left to plant some crops, not realizing that He had had His shoes on the wrong feet all morning.

The five sibling gods each went His or Her own way, exploring Their new territories and asserting Their rule. Pétíso cared for the souls of humanity, demigods, and all. He nurtured them. He answered prayers and became quite popular. Sozho grew jealous.

In a fit of rage, Sozho stabbed Pétíso in the back, straight through His heart. Pétíso died instantly. To hide the body, Sozho stuffed it into a box and sent it floating down the Nízhorosívo River. Thinking His evil deed accomplished, Sozho returned to His home.

Pétíso’s spirit, however, remained. He did not immediately to the afterlife like most souls. Pétíso could not depart, for He had to remain to protect the universe’s souls from the evil of Sozho.

Pétíso awoke his pet dog, Sérasavasé, and sent him tracking His body down the river. The spirit of Pétíso then quickly went to His sister, Nuvíní, and told Her what had happened in a dream.

Nuvíní caught up to Sérasavasé at the banks of the Nízhorosívo River, where She spotted a large wooden box caught by some drooping branches. Nuvíní fished it out and discovered Her brother’s dead body inside. Overcome with grief, for She loved Pétíso dearly, Nuvíní broke into tears, doubling the flow of the river.

Seeing Nuvíní in such pain, Vuzhí, Goddess of Life, took pity on Her and brought Pétíso back to life. Nuvíní thanked Vuzhí and kissed Pétíso, waking Him up. Pétíso welcomed His return to the living, grateful to Vuzhí, Nuvíní, and His dog Sérasavasé.

Pétíso resumed His duties, tending to the souls of the universe, sending Sozho back to the skies. He was wary of His brother, careful that Sozho might try something again. The next time Pétíso was alone, however, Sozho attacked Him.

Pétíso fought gallantly, but Sozho had His impenetrable shield, thus rendering Pétíso’s blows ineffective. Sérasavasé’s teeth and claws were useless against Sozho’s shield, and so Pétíso ordered him away. As Their swordfight drew on, Pétíso succumbed to scratch after scratch, nick after nick, until He had bled so much that He lost strength and collapsed.

Sozho leapt at His brother and sliced off His head. He then proceeded to carve up Pétíso’s body into a pile of bloody bits. He scattered the pieces of Pétíso’s body throughout the world, so that Sérasavasé wouldn’t be able to track Him and Nuvíní and Vuzhí would not be able to revive Him. So Pétíso would never be whole, Sozho took His manhood and fed it to an eagle.

With Pétíso’s spirit helping as best He could, Nuvíní and the dog Sérasavasé tracked down all the pieces of Pétíso’s body. Nuvíní reassembled Him, but much to Her chagrin, one key piece was missing. She sent Sérasavasé out to look for Pétíso’s manhood, but that was a futile mission. Eventually, they gave up. Nuvíní fashioned a manhood out of gold and attached it to Pétíso’s body.

Nuvíní called upon Vuzhí and asked Her to revive Pétíso again. The beautiful, young Goddess of Life sadly informed Her that She could not bring Him to life a second time. She had pushed the balance of nature just to bring Him back once. Vuzhí tried to comfort the grieving Nuvíní, but eventually decided to leave the earth goddess alone with the body.

Nuvíní held Pétíso’s body close to Her and cried. Filled with longing for Her dead brother, She kissed His body all over. She decided it was time to bury Pétíso forever, but the sight of His golden manhood gave Her pause. One last fling would not be impossible; it would be grand to give Pétíso a memorable goodbye.

Pétíso’s spirit had been nearby the whole time, and when He saw what Nuvíní was doing, He re-entered His body to fully experience the sexual delight. Much to His surprise, as They climaxed, Pétíso awoke. They both screamed with pleasure. Falling together, Pétíso whispered thanks into Nuvíní’s ear. The next spring, Nuvíní gave birth to Huro, God of Thunder.

After being dead and resurrected twice, Pétíso had gained insight into all the happenings of the universe, both in the physical and spiritual planes. He was, in a word, omniscient. He set up His home in the underworld, with a great hall constructed where He judges every arriving soul. His dog, Sérasavasé, stands at the gates to the underworld, guarding against any non-departed souls -- especially Sozho -- who might come Pétíso’s way.

Some years later, Pétíso seduced the lovely Vuzhí. They married and She joined Him at His castle in the underworld. Unfortunately, with Vuzhí gone, the world above became cold and lifeless. Pétíso convinced Her to leave Him for half the year and bring life to the world, which is why we have seasons.

Pétíso is all-seeing and all-knowing. If you lead a good life, He will grant you bliss in His presence, to be followed by a return to our world as an enlightened and powerful being. If your soul is fraught with evil, Pétíso will condemn you to infinite pain, followed by a return to our universe as a pillbug or mosquito, to be squished flat as soon as you comprehend your surroundings. The good have nothing to fear from Pétíso. The evil, though, must beware!

No comments: