The Legend of the Toh Bird: A Lesson in Humility

· January 23, 2019
The legend of the Toh bird is a story that the Mayans told for generations. Through it, they sought to teach young people the importance of remaining humble and being helpful and kind to those around them.

The legend of the Toh bird is an ancient Mayan story from the Yucatan Peninsula. Some say that the Toh bird guides the adventurers who enter the jungles of these regions so they can find natural wells inside the caverns.

The Toh bird is a solitary bird that likes caves and dark places. Its song and unique tail are its main characteristics. The Toh bird’s tail has a bright plumage that glows in the sun and moves like a pendulum. It’s safe to say that it’s not at all similar to the other birds of the region.

The legend of the Toh bird tells that, many years ago, this bird was part of the natural royalty. At that time, it had a long, colorful tail. It was so beautiful that everyone considered it a superior bird. Every other animal admired its beautiful plumage and treated it with great respect.

The legend of the Toh bird

According to the legend of the Toh bird, this bird was so beautiful and admired that it became extremely conceited. It always said that it couldn’t work due to fear of messing up its beautiful tail. As a consequence, the other birds had to get the bird the food and water that it needed. They would also make its nests and prepare the place where it’d sleep.

The Toh bird did practically nothing. It got up late and then went to the royal garden, where the most beautiful birds of the whole jungle were. They would talk about banalities and laugh at nonsense there. That’s how they liked to spend their days.

Other than its beautiful physical characteristics, the Toh bird was extremely petulant. It didn’t want just any food but the best food in the jungle. Although the other birds struggled to please it, this bird never seemed to be satisfied with anything.

A group of birds flying away.

A strange storm

One night, the ever-so-wise owl said that a terrifying storm was coming. It knew for a fact that storms like that one only came every 50 years. Thunder and lightning would impact the entire jungle. They urgently needed to build a shelter if they wanted to survive.

All the birds started working immediately. The woodpecker, the macaws, the parrots, and the toucan began to cut branches to make a shelter. Larger birds such as turkeys carried the heavier branches. Small birds like crows and quails gathered small plants.

The legend of the Toh bird tells that the clouds started to look blacker as time went on. However, the Toh bird did nothing. It just waited for the other birds to finish building the shelter. However, the other birds suddenly felt like they’ve had enough, so they decided to reproach its attitude. Annoyed, they asked the Toh bird to help too.

Five birds in the water.

The story ends and the legend begins

The Toh bird was upset by this demand. However, fearing that it’d be left without a place in the shelter, it joined the builders. It only worked for a few minutes because it got really tired. It didn’t want to be a worker because that wasn’t its place. Thus, when the rest of the birds weren’t looking, it went to a cave and hid.

Once inside the cave, it lay down and fell asleep. It didn’t even notice when the storm started. The lightning didn’t wake it up because the few minutes of work had left it completely exhausted. The bad thing is that the cave was very small and its beautiful tail didn’t fit inside.

The storm lasted a whole day and night. Then, the sun started shining brightly the next day. The other birds left their shelter and the Toh bird left its cave.

The legend of the Toh bird tells that it thought that things would go back to normal. Thus, as soon as the Toh bird saw that the rain had stopped, it went back to the royal garden to follow its daily routine.

However, when it arrived, everyone started laughing. The storm had almost completely destroyed his gorgeous, majestic tail. Embarrassed, the Toh bird returned to the cave and never left it again. The punishment for its pride and selfishness is now having to live alone in a secluded place and working to guide the explorers.

“Don’t discount the importance of being humble. There’s a value there far greater than pride can ever provide.”

-Kristen Butler-