Ecuador has many fables and legends.
One involves the origin of dragon’s blood (Sangre de Drago) which is known for its wound-healing properties.
In the Amazon, there was a beautiful woman named Sány.
Despite her beauty, she never looked happy and felt no compassion for other people.
She became known as “the one who never cries.”
When winter came to the region, the rain was so intense that all streamsand rivers overflowed.
Houses and crops were destroyed. Animals died.
People suffered and cried watching the disaster.
But Sány remained indifferent, not shedding a tear.
People began saying “Look at her, she does not care.”
They blamed her for their misery, believing the gods were punishing them because she had no feelings.
The elders agreed that it was necessary for Sány to know pain.
One day while Sány was walking through the woods, an old woman asked if she could help collect dry branches to heat her hut where her grandson was sick and shivering with cold.
But Sány looked indifferently at her and walked on.
Then, a young woman with the sick child appeared, asking Sány to help her find herbs to cure her son.
Even though she knew where to find what was needed, Sány would not help the mother and walked away.
Then, the voice of the old woman could be heard. “Lord, make this woman who does not feel compassion for a grandmother or a suffering mother never be a grandmother or mother. Make this woman who has caused us so much damage by not crying, live doing good to others with her cries.”
Sány suddenly froze in terror.
She began to feel her body undergoing a transformation.
Her feet sank into the ground and began to grow roots.
Her body hardened and was covered with bark. And her hair grew and turned into tree branches.
She had become the dragon’s blood tree.
When people cut the bark, the tree cries and releases a red sap that’s used to heal wounds and cure other ailments.
And so, the soul of Sány, trapped in the tree, now helps ease the pain of others.
Source: Libro de Cuentos y Leyendas de la Amazonía
Photo courtesy: La Hora
In my book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new book: Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador, available both on Kindle and Paperback formats.
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