The Perils of Travel

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

In the great and vast Patagonia Desert wander the corel pipchiche – creatures of the sand. Large and benevolent creatures, they make their way through sand storms and cold winds, communing with the Tuco-Tucos and Jumping Cow Spiders who also live in the desert.

The corel pipchiche are rumored to be Ngen-rüpü, spirits of nature who are the owners of the paths created by nature and the footsteps of the wild animals.  They travel together in pairs – the larger “choele” and the tiny “chile”. They are the “ghost” and the “little bird”, beings of the desert.

Mapuche legend has it that when a traveler is ñamikuaw, the Mapuche word for walking lost, the corel pipchiche will appear to lead them back to their path, sometimes before the journeyer even realizes they are lost.  Once the traveler is back safely on their way, the corel pipchiche slowly fade back into the horizon, the call of the chile echoing off of the desert floor.  This experience stays vividly with the traveler for a full day, or one sleep. Once they have slept that one dreamless sleep, their vision of the corel pipchiche will seem like a hallucination and hardly real.

But the corel pipchiche are real, and these travelers have been indelibly marked.  The corel pipchiche do not judge those who have lost their way; they merely show them back to their footpaths and fade back into the desert sky.  The order of the desert is kept in balance by these wanderers, these owners of the paths, these spirits of nature. They know the perils of the wild world and the perils of travel. And they keep us safe in spite of ourselves.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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