Ezequiel history lesson V: Aztecan legend and topographic romance
There exists two volcanoes located adjacent just outside of Mexico City. These volcanoes are called Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl and there is an Aztecan legend which explains their origins.
Ezequiel explains the legend:
Long-long ago, there was an Aztecan princess named Iztaccihuatl. Iztaccihuatl was to be married but could not find a suitable prince to her liking. She languished over prospective suitors until one day she came across Popocatepetl who immediately struck her fancy. Popocatepetl was a galliant warrior-prince. Popocatepetl too thought Iztaccihuatl beautiful and fell in love with her. Their life together was full of love until war broke out with a neighboring tribe.
Popocatepetl, the consummate warrior, took up arms and served his duty to protect his village. He left his wife Iztaccihuatl, promising to make it back safely.
The tribal war was brutal and Popocatepetl saw many comrades die. One particular battle was so violent that nearly all of Popocatepetl’s forces were killed. After this battle news traveled back to Iztaccihuatl that the war was lost and Popocatepetl had died. Upon hearing this Iztaccihuatl sank into deep depression.
Iztaccihuatl’s depression was so severe and her heart so broken that she died within a few days. The whole community was saddened by the loss of Iztaccihuatl and the news that the tribal war had been lost…
Except the war hadn’t been lost, and Popocatepetl hadn’t died in battle. Pulling together his remaining warriors Popocatepetl was able to eventually defeat the opposing tribe. And make his way home.
Popocatepetl was glad the war was over and he could finally enjoy the comfort of his wife. To his great devastation, however, he was told by the village that Iztaccihuatl had died of a broken heart while he was away. Upon hearing this Popocatepetl became very angry. The villagers directed Popocatepetl to where they had laid Iztaccihuatl after her death.
Iztaccihuatl was rested upon a hill. Her expression in death was tranquil but hid the pain she had suffered after falsely believing of Popocatepetl’s death. When Popocatepetl came to her side, he knelt down in fitting despair. His blood was boiling because of her loss but he would not leave her side.
There and then a great storm came over them and it began to snow. Popocatepetl could not bare to move Iztaccihuatl or leave her side, so instead he just knelt and let the snow pile over him and his wife. It snowed for a long-long time, eventually making mountains of Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl. From the Popocatepetl mountain sprang a volcano, tempermental and prone to eruption.
Popocatepetl still smokes today. Some say it is with inner torment of a warrior who lost his only love.
Note: Who’s Ezequiel? My co-worker. Aztecan myth teller and volcano folklorist. A man who knows a little about romance, as proof by Ezequiel Jr.