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Why doesn't the gnandu fly?

Legend has it that, before, the ñandú flew and had a very important mission, which he arrived late because of his fear.

Urban Legends
 ñandú Patagonia

Despite having large wings, the   nandu   is unable to fly, but its body can quickly run along the arid Patagonian plateau.  And why don't you fly if it's a bird? 

The story goes back a long time, when  Elal , the Tehuelche divinity who was saved from being slaughtered by her father, the giant Noshtex , was moved by the long-necked swan to the top of  Chaltén .

Along with the swan, the rest of the animals crossed the ocean into the new land that had previously been forged by  Kooch, the creator . However, legend has it that it was not that bird who originally took Elal across the sea, but that it was going to be the ynandu.

 Patenk, the fox , was in charge of warning all animals of the maneuver to escape the giant, who wanted to kill the son he begat after kidnapping the cloud Teo because Koch had promised he would be twice as powerful as Noshtex.

Mexeush, the ñandu, who could fly, was warned by the fox and decided to quickly embark on the way to where Elal was, but something stopped him and changed his decision. It is that, when he was about to begin his flight to the new earth, he envisioned the giant Goyse, brother of Noshtex, who helped the evil man find Elal to kill him.

The giant was on top of a mountain that Mexeush had to cross on his journey, so he decided to take an alternative path. That decision ended up changing his future. Scared by the presence of Goyse, the ñandu descended to the surface and began to run in the opposite direction, crouching between the pastures to not be seen.

Obviously it took longer to arrive in search of Elal to embark on the journey to the new land with the divinity and the rest of the animals.

The story tells that Elal condemned Mexeush not to be able to fly again, as he had not used his wings when necessary.

And so it was that the ñandu, despite having two large and strong wings, could not unfold them again in the air, and had to settle for being able to run swiftly through the earth, waving them unlately, for his chance to walk through the heavens was taken away by an angry Elal, for being late for his mission., which ended up being entrusted to the black swan.

However, there is also another version of the same legend is a little more benevolent with Mexeush.

Although the ñandu did arrive late for the appointment to be able to transfer Elal to  Patagonia , his ability to fly was not taken away by the deity  Tehuelche .

In that other story, only the swan crossed the sea to take Elal to the new land, where he would then create men and entrust them with the art of survival. It was so that the rest of the animals stayed and invaded by sadness and also by the prevailing fear of being caught by the giant, the ñandú shrunk its wings and could not fly again.

Whether Elal's fear, anguish or anger over his delay, what does not change is that today we continue to see the ynandu, nervous and arid, running at great speed along the Patagonian plateau, fast as the wind and unattainable with its long legs that advance in great strides -because it comes late- while it ducks its neck -like hiding from the giant. It seems that he is going with the same urgency as hundreds of years ago, but he continues to run without knowing that a black swan replaced him and led the boy to the Chaltén.

Publication Date: 30/10/2020

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We suggest you continue reading the following notes:

Elal y los tehuelches Elal and the Tehuelches
Kóoch Kóoch, the creator

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