Gupe and Pac: Part Two
…(this is the continuation of: “Gupe and Pac”, a story. To read the first part, go here.)
Gupé sat up on a nearby tree to watch for the snake, while Pac crouched behind some of the river brush. When Gupé sighted the snake, he screeched out to Pac who leaped up just in time to see the snake slithering up the branch. As soon as the snake had grabbed hold of the bait, Pac thrust a spear at its heart, but the spear was weak from age and broke on the scaly skin. Pac was quick to follow his first throw with a second, but by then the snake had dropped into the water. As it swam away, Pac jumped into the river to catch it. He struggled hard against the current, but finally he grabbed the snake and plunged his knife through its heart. The snake tore away from him and drowned at the bottom of the river.
Pac fought to reach the shore and when he finally did, Gupé was there awaiting him. They were both quite exhausted, but they headed for the village immediately and reached it by the next night. They then collapsed in the empty town center and fell into a great sleep.
Next morning, Pac opened his eyes to see the blinding sun pouring into the little hut in which he laid. Next to him, was Gupé, his fur very patchy and muddy and his little face all swollen from the bee stings.
“Are you awake Gupé?” asked Pac softly.
“He is very ill and is not likely to live.” came a female voice from behind him.
“Maria, how pleasant to again hear your voice.”
“I thank you now for avenging the death of my brother, brave Pac.”
“So you are to be mine?”
“This is not so, for I have now learned that my love Gupé still lives.”
“Surely you would not belong to a monkey!” exclaimed Pac. “And more surely not now, after all that I have done for you.”
“But he is my love, and I must be true to him as well. I cannot take either of you now, as I have promised both that you might have me. Please now, be still for poor Gupé is not well. The bees have poisoned him and he may not live.”
After a few days had passed, Pac had recovered well, but Gupé was still quite ill and was only becoming worse. None of the healers could do anything for him, but Maria stayed with him at all hours until she would fall asleep of exhaustion.
Then, when Pac was not yet fully healed, he got up from his bed in the night and departed for the forest. The next afternoon, he returned with the old witch-doctor, Henna from the ruins. Henna went in with Gupé alone for several hours until finally he emerged. He spoke no words to any person as he walked silently away back into the forest.
The town was so surprised at the arrival of the strange guest, that none realized that Pac had fallen greatly ill and collapsed on the ground. A few hours later, he died and was buried just outside of the town.
Soon, Gupé arose from his bed and was well again. He chattered about with the men of the town all day and the nights he spent with the lady Maria. Maria was saddened by the death of Pac, but also happy at the revival of Gupé. Then one night, as Gupé was sitting with Maria, she told him that she would be his and she kissed him on the nose. Immediately, Gupé was restored into his old man body and the two embraced.
Years passed and Gupé and Maria lived happily. Then, one night, the two were strolling along the place where the town met the forest where suddenly appeared the image of Pac. He led them into the forest silently until they broke out into a great clearing. In the clearing, the old city had been restored. There were people all about happily. Pac turned to them and said, “That night when I gathered the witch-doctor Henna for you Gupé, I learned from him that having killed the serpent, I had become the new ruler of the ancient city of Acca! I was rewarded for my bravery, and I knew that you two were supposed to be for each other and the city was to be for me. So I arranged to forge my death and the Henna would come and dig me up. He gave me a drink which made me appear to be dead and also allowed me to be buried without such happening. I had to deceive you, in order that you might belong to each other, as well as to keep my city a secret. Now I show you this all and hope that you will share my great city with me.”
Gupé and Maria both agreed and lived the rest of their lives in the beautiful and harmonious hidden city of Acca.