Five suns back in the land of Exan Tlahtoloyan
Tlaloc the rain god had a feud with his cloud
serpents Xiuhnel & Mimich who left his side.
So Tonatiuh the sun shone continuously
burning the land and the trees with heat & fires.
Among the Azlatans’ - people of the white land,
was a brave young man called Anansi
who decided to end his people’s suffering
by going to Snake Mountain to pray
to Tlaloc to send rain & banish Tonatiuh.
A beautiful Toucan who was serving
Obsidian Butterfly & warrior skeletal
goddess Itzpapalotl heard his pleas
and relayed his message to her.
So she sent for the two cloud serpents
who were so enamored by her beauty
and changed into men to lay with her.
They promised to go back to Tlaloc
if she would lay with them.
Tlaloc accepted their return to his
service and made them blue in color.
But he was no match for Tonatiuh
so they decided a trade must be made.
Tonatiuh loved stories, colors and dance.
Anansi was clever and suggested that
he would go and entertain Tonatiuh
with a story while the blue serpents
cover his face from the sky to make it rain.
Iztapaplotl ordered the toucan to carry
Anansi to the sky and dance and sing
as he told the sun king his lores in a string.
All was well until the sun god realized
he was being put to sleep under a spell.
But it was too late, the serpents had already
shrouded the sky and he was no longer seen.
Rain began to fall and the white kingdom
began to rejoice, but poor Anansi & toucan
Anansi was turned into a spider spinning webs
for tales to catch bugs for meals,.
As for Toucan his beak grew so long and curved
forcing him to swerve when he eats, and suffer
his feathers plucked by humans for headdresses
to decorate dancers’ heads every time there was
a rain dance to entertain the sun god.
But Itzpapalotl rewarded the toucan with two
abilities: telling the five times of the day with
five different songs and a rainbow beak.
Today the toucan is revered as the rainbow
bird of the rain gods in the rain forest
and is classified into fifteen kinds of toucans:
Tocos, Toco Tocos, Tucanus, Cuvieri Tucanus,
Swainsoni, Abbreviatus, Ambiguus, Sulfuratus,
Brevicarinatus, Vitellinus, Culminatus, Vitellinus
Ariel, Citreolaemus, Brevis, & Dicolorus
An Aztec legend weaved to tell the tale of how the toucans got their rainbow beaks and their kinds.