Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Tale of Hívo

All hail the Second Eldest, Hívo, God of Clean Water! He's also the god of sheep, cattle, travelers, beer, wine, music, and swimming snakes, so hurray! He also discovered sex, so hurray! Today's His holy day, so take a trip, stay hydrated, be good to your animals, and be like Hívo.


At the beginning of time, the Second Eldest formed gradually, high above the chaotic ocean known as Kérasa, High Goddess of Water. The Second Eldest was Hívo, Who floated in the heavens, covering the earth in optimism and wisdom. He had no body but a cloud of sweet water and goodness.

Far below Hívo, Kérasa was a bitter swirl of acrid waters, Whose attitude on life was a danger to Herself and the universe. Hívo took it upon Himself to save Her. As such, He descended to Kérasa’s ocean and mixed Himself with Her. Hívo’s sweetness canceled Kérasa’s bitterness, and so They both became pure water.

Their mixing was the first physical contact between two beings in the entire universe, and They at once realized how enjoyable it could be. Almost by happenchance, Hívo and Kérasa discovered mating, which He decided was quite marvelous. He immediately set about mating with Kérasa again and again.

Soon thereafter, Kérasa gave birth to Kara, Goddess of Soil. Up through the ocean surface rose the earth, forming continents and islands. Kara took the form of a giant octopus with jointed legs and set up home in a burrow on the new land. Hívo, Who had grown a bit tired of mating with Kérasa, took up the form of a winged sealion and flew to Kara’s burrow. The water god showed the earth goddess how wonderful mating could be, and They repeated the act numerous times.

In due time, Kara gave birth to Sorosotuzho, God of the Atmosphere, Who flew off into the sky. Hívo and Kara continued to mate, whereupon Kara gave birth to cattle. The cows grazed the land, free to roam under Hívo’s watchful eye. After more mating, Kara gave birth to sheep, who joined the cattle on Kara’s fertile fields. Hívo and Kara proceeded to further mate, as a result of which Kara gave birth to the first human beings. Like the cattle and sheep before them, we human beings are well treated by Hívo.

Meanwhile, both Sorosotuzho and Kérasa were growing weary and a tad bit jealous of the constant mating between the other two gods. The water goddess and air god did not, however, wish to spend much time with each other. They therefore briefly joined forces to tear Kara and Hívo apart. This They did successfully, and the two pairs went Their separate ways. Sorosotuzho began mating with Kara in Her burrow while Kérasa took Hívo back to the ocean.

Hívo could not stop mating, since it was so much fun, and therefore He resumed mating with Kérasa. She soon gave birth to Sívorí, Goddess of Stars, and Néhété, God of Pestilence and Smoke. The two new gods wafted up into the sky. Meanwhile, on land, Kara gave birth to several gods fathered by Sorosotuzho, chief among Them Zhaké, God of Rivers.

Before They realized it, Hívo and Kérasa were completely surrounded by so many gods, human beings, and animals, all of who were quite noisy, that the Eldest and Second Eldest could hardly think. Kérasa, especially, wandered further and further away from sanity. Her peace and quiet had been destroyed. There were too many voices!

Hívo thus decided to follow the only honorable course of action. In order to protect the Eldest, His friend and paramount paramour, Hívo declared war on the younger gods. Since this was the first war in the universe, the concept was still quite new. In short, Hívo announced that He wanted to destroy the new gods and remove Them from existence, then He promptly set about attacking Them.

Hívo fought gallantly to protect Kérasa, but the younger gods proved too much for Him. While Hívo was able to defeat and destroy numerous gods Who for obvious reasons are no longer worshipped, He was bested by His grandson Zhaké. The river god imprisoned Hívo deep under the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Farasa. Hívo was locked in by the seemingly impenetrable rock. He was distraught at His failure, but He knew He had done His best for Kérasa.

Whilst Hívo was thus imprisoned, Kérasa did indeed go insane, exactly as He had feared. She formed the body of a hundred-headed dragon with serpent fangs, scorpion claws, and an eel’s tail and lashed out at the noisy, younger gods. Without reasoning, for She was insane, Kérasa lasted a shorter time than did Hívo. The gods killed Her, chopped Her body to bits, and took over control of the universe.

Many years passed. Hívo returned to His pure water physicality and gradually seeped through the mountain rock. Unbeknownst to His captor, Zhaké, Hívo was escaping. Only water can penetrate rock; Hívo took advantage of this. After numerous great cycles, Hívo sprang forth from the slopes of Mount Farasa, only to find a much more crowded world than the one He had last seen. Human beings and their civilization were everywhere; gods and demigods lived finely, worshipped by the human beings. The most surprising discovery of all, however, was a mellow and sane Kérasa living atop the mountain. Overcome with joy, Hívo flew up to His ancient lover, Who greeted Him with similar affection. They mated and produced the swimming snakes.

To this new world, Hívo had to adjust. With Mount Farasa as His home, He resumed floating wide above the world, spreading optimistic goodness to all beings below. Human beings were His children, so He declared that He must care for them. When some human beings set out on a journey, Hívo made sure to accommodate them with swift travel and clean water to drink on their route. He brought forth springs from the ground, channeled clean water into streams and lakes, and coaxed rain from the sky, all for the travelers’ needs.

In some regions, however, no moisture was to be found, or what water there was quickly became contaminated by Néhété and Hívo’s granddaughter Ríhíví, Goddess of Poisonous Water. Hívo thus created a beverage that would remain unspoiled for long journeys, thanks to its alcoholic content. He named it beer, although human beings quickly took a liking to it and produced numerous varieties with varying names. In southern regions, where the barley and hops didn’t grow as well, Hívo invented wine, so all could have safe and hydrated travels.

Due to His unmatched speed, Hívo amused Himself by delivering messages for the other gods. While He still did not enjoy Their company, Hívo considered Them to be His children, and thus needing of His help. Plus, He derived pleasure from flying faster than any of the uppity younger gods.

One of the youngest gods, Who was quite arrogant and egotistical, was Píríuso, God of the Sun. While the sun god spent most of His time driving His golden chariot across the sky, He professed to be the best at everything He could think of, whether it be pottery or archery or animal husbandry. Píríuso owned a herd of cattle that He neglected, too busy as He was with boasting. Hívo, as the father of sheep and cattle, knew He had to help His children.

One night, while Píríuso was absent from the land, Hívo snuck up to the sun god’s herd and led the cattle to a nearby cave occupied solely by a tortoise, which immediately hid in its shell. Hívo fed and watered the cattle well, but the caretaking was unfortunately too late for one of the cows. She died shortly after arriving at the cave. While He waited for Píríuso to arrive, Hívo butchered the cow and began the curing process. After killing the tortoise and eating its meat, Hívo stretched the cow’s intestines across the shell’s opening and began plucking the taut lines. Hívo thus created the lyre and a new form of music.

The next morning, when Píríuso rose in the east, He noticed His herd missing and immediately set about looking for it. By the afternoon, the sun god discovered cattle tracks leading to the cave, where He found Hívo standing firmly in front of the herd, plucking a jaunty melody on the lyre.

Píríuso exploded in rage. He screamed at Hívo to get out of His way and give Him the cattle back. Píríuso stormed back and forth, waving His arms, stomping His feet, yelling the whole while. Hívo, for His part, calmly chided the sun god for neglecting the animals in His care. As Píríuso shook His fist at the water god, Hívo explained that all cattle were His children, much as all the gods, sheep, human beings, and swimming snakes were His children. As such, it was Hívo’s responsibility to make sure that all His children treated each other with respect as they deserved.

The sun god complained that He was very busy and He looked after His cattle the best He could, but He couldn’t be a full-time herder because His primary responsibility was to the sun. Hívo shook His head and waggled a wingtip in Píríuso’s direction. The water god suggested that if Píríuso were stretched too thin, He should hand off some of His duties so everything would be attended properly.

Flustered, Píríuso stammered nonsense, then meekly nodded. At that, Hívo stepped aside and let the cattle and their master reunite, because it was, of course, the honorable course of action. He meanwhile gave Píríuso one last reminder to do what was best for the cattle.

While Píríuso promised the cattle He would always tend to their needs, Hívo resumed playing His new musical instrument. When the sun god heard the dulcet sounds, He was amazed and asked to give the lyre a try. Amicably, Hívo handed the tortoise-shell instrument to Píríuso and showed Him how the different strings produced different notes. The sun god marveled at its sound. With help from Hívo, Píríuso was eventually able to produce a melody. Seeing how much Píríuso enjoyed the lyre, the water god offered it to Him. Píríuso gladly accepted, then wandered back to His chariot, strumming the strings the whole way.

After heaving a sigh, Hívo led the sun god’s cattle out to their graze lands. Seeing that the herd was in good condition for the moment, Hívo returned to His home on Mount Farasa, knowing that He would have to return often for the cattle’s care. High atop the peak, Hívo and Kérasa mated several times, then the water god spread out over the land, blanketing the world in goodness and joy.

Far below, we human beings soak up Hívo’s goodness, drink His water and beer, and are blessed by His attention. Hívo is our father; we must honor Him as such. He takes care of us and does what is honorable in each and every situation, whether it’s for Kérasa, for cattle, or for ungrateful gods. We must also take the honorable course of action at all times, even if it is to the benefit of someone with whom we disagree. To be honorable and wise is to share traits with Hívo, and this should be the goal of everyone, for to be exactly like Hívo would be the greatest joy in life.

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