When Earth’s face still had only, barely, its own luminescence and no Sun was yet in the heavens, no Moon, a being arose: much persuaded of his great worth, his great light and beauty. Wuqub Kak’ix was his name, meaning Seven Macaw. Seven Macaw, seven chattering gorgeous huge red parrot, seven jewels, seven treasures. Heaven was above and Earth was below, but there was no Sun… there was no Moon… there was no light, only the darkness of that time, time of the people of wood who knew not the Heart of Heaven.

Wuqub Kak’ix fancied himself the lord and light of the people of wood who later were drowned, who knew no lord or god… As if he were wondrous in his essence, he said:

“I am grandiose above the created people, the people shaped and made. I am their Sun and I am their light, it is me they turn to. So be it! My splendor is vast, I am a safe path for the people to traverse, because my silver eyes shine as precious stones, as green gems. And my teeth glitter as jewels in the face of heaven. As for my nose, it gleams from afar as would the Moon. And my silver throne lights up the face of the Earth each time I rise from my seat. So then, am I not the Sun, am I not the Moon for the women and men born into the light? So be it! For my sight is long and reaches far.” Thus spoke Wuqub Kak’ix.

But he was wrong. Wuqub Kak’ix was not the Sun, but merely a fool vain about his wealth, flaunting his feathers and precious jewels. His sight covered only his near surroundings and did not encompass the whole expanse of Earth beneath the Heavens. Wuqub Kak’ix only strutted his vanity as the face of the Sun was not yet seen, no dawning yet of the day, no Moon, no stars.

The true light of Sun and Moon was not yet manifest, not yet had it shown itself. He only coveted power, supremacy, in the time when the puppet people of wood were flooded.  Now we will tell how Wuqub Kak’ix died, how he was defeated, and how the people were made by the Creator, the Shaper.

This is the beginning of his defeat, the fall of the day of Wuqub Kak’ix, by the two young gods, Junajpu and Xbalamke, twin brother and sister, who took it upon themselves to punish Wuqub Kak’ix so that no one else would ever seek power through wealth and precious stones.  They saw as evil his arrogance before Uk’ux Kaj, the Heart of Heaven, and they said:

“It is not good for this to be so.  There are not yet people on the face of the Earth.  So then, let us try to shoot him with our blowpipes while he is eating.  Let us shoot him here, let us bring a sickness upon him!  Let there be an end to his wealth, his jade, his silver, his jewels, his gems that make him so vain.  If not, all the people will do the same; let power not originate only from wealth.  So be it!”  The young gods spoke thus, and each took up their blowpipe.

Wuqub Kak’ix had two sons: the first was Sipakna, the second was Kabraqan.  Chimalmat was the name of their mother, the wife of Wuqub Kak’ix.

Sipakna would just play with the great mountains, with Fire volcano, Acatenango volcano, Pekul, Ya’xkanul, Makamob, Julisnab, as all these mountains were called later when the dawn came.  One night was sufficient for Sipakna to raise these mountains.  As for Kabraqan, he moved mountains, moved small mountains, big mountains.

And that is how the sons of Wuqub Kak’ix mimicked his vanity.  When he said, “I am the Sun!”, Sipakna would crow, “I am the one who makes the Earth!”, and Kabraqan would screech, “I am the Sun who shakes the Heavens, the one who throws down the entire Earth!”  But they were nothing more than his sons, only, Wuqub Kak’ix’s; only from him could they have their greatness, following their father’s example.

This annoyed the twin gods greatly. Our first mother, our first father had not yet been created. So the death of the proud ones was planned, their erasure by the hand of the twins. Their blowpipe shot, then, against Wuqub Kak’ix.  We will tell now of the defeat of each of these beings fallen into arrogance.

Wuqub Kak’ix had a great hogberry tree, this was his food, he ate the hogberry fruit. Every day he would climb into the tree, and this manner of feeding was noted by the twins Junajpu and Xbalamke.

They hid among the shrubbery under the tree and waited, they were there when Wuqub Kak’ix arrived and climbed right up into the tree and went to it, eating hogberries.  When he was hit by a blowpipe shot from Junajpu, hit precisely in his jaw, he screamed as he fell from the tree and hit the ground.

Junajpu ran to him, truly swift, to grab him and subdue him; but Wuqub Kak’ix tore off Junajpu’s arm, tore it right off.  He tore it from the shoulder, and only thus did Junajpu release Wuqub Kak’ix.

But even so, they were not defeated by Wuqub Kak’ix.

He took Junajpu’s arm, he did, Wuqub Kak’ix, when he went home; but he arrived holding his jaw gingerly.

“What has happened to you?” asked Chimalmat, his wife.

“What do you think?  Those two evil creatures shot me with their blowpipes, they dislocated my jaw, and so my teeth are loosened; it hurts too, too much.  But despite that, I brought something: it belongs above the fire, we shall hang it above the fire.  So that when they come for it, we shall see if they really are so evil,” said Wuqub Kak’ix, and hung up Junajpu’s arm.

For their part, Junajpu and Xbalamke meditated. They spoke then to an elder, truly white was the hair of this grandfather, and there was a grandmother, both their backs hunched over from their great age. Saqi Nim Aq, the grandfather was named, Saqi Nim Sis the grandmother was named. The twins said then to the grandmother, to the grandfather:

“Let us come with you, we are going to collect our arm from Wuqub Kak’ix, we will only walk behind you.

‘These, our grandchildren accompany us; their mother and father are dead. And so they follow us, go behind us, maybe we will give them away because all we know is how to take worms out of molars.’

“This you must say so we appear as children to Wuqub Kak’ix. In any case, we will be there to advise you,” the twins said.

“Very well,” the old ones answered. And they got under way.

Wuqub Kak’ix was sprawled at the foot of his throne groaning and weeping when the grandmother and the grandfather came along, followed by their small grandchildren playing and laughing behind them. When they passed by the house of the Lord Wuqub Kak’ix, he was screaming from the pain in his molars. When he saw the grandmother and grandfather and the children with them, he asked, “Grandparents, where have you come from?”

“We are only trying to find our food, Lord,” they answered.

“What is your food? Are these not your children with you?”

“Not at all, Lord, these are our grandchildren whom we have taken pity on; each bite of food, each piece we share it with them, Lord,” said the grandmother, the grandfather.  

All this time, the Lord was dying of the pain in his teeth, and could hardly speak. “I beg you, I ask you for your pity, what is it you can do? What is it you can heal?” the Lord said.

“We only take worms out of teeth, we only heal eyes, we only set bones back into their places, Lord,” they answered.

“That is very good. Heal my teeth, they truly have me suffering each day, it is beyond bearing. I can’t sleep from it, and from my eyes. Two evildoers shot me with their blowpipes and since then I haven’t eaten, so take pity on me, my teeth have come loose.”

“Very well, Lord, these are worms that are causing the pain, we only have to change your teeth.”

“Maybe it’s not good that you take out my teeth, because I am a lord, my ornament is my teeth, along with my eyes.”

“We will put others in their place, made of powdered bone.”

But this of the powdered bone was really only white corn.

“All right, then, take them out. Grant me some relief,” Wuqub Kak’ix answered. So they took his teeth out, and it was only kernels of white corn they put in their place, and it was only these kernels of white corn that shone in his mouth. His features instantly collapsed, he no longer looked the part of a great Lord. They went on and took all the jade-studded teeth that glittered in his mouth.

Then they quickly treated his eyes, they scooped out his eyes and took the jewels from them, without him feeling a thing. Wuqub Kak’ix sat staring away into nothingness when they finished despoiling him of all that filled him with such pride. Gone was his glory, and he died.

Thus was the plan Junajpu and Xbalamke had come up with.

So was the death of Wuqub Kak’ix, and Junajpu took back his arm. Then Chimalmat died, the wife of Wuqub Kak’ix.

And the wealth of Wuqub Kak’ix was lost, it was a doctor who took his jewels and his gems, of which he had such conceit here on Earth. The genius of the grandmother, the genius of the grandfather achieved this, then they recovered the arm and they put it back in its place, and all was well again.

Only to achieve the death of Wuqub Kak’ix did they work in this way, because it seemed wrong to them that he should be so arrogant. Once done, the twins departed; and what they did was nothing more than the will of Uk’ux Kaj, the Heart of Heaven.