Toba-Pilaga - Carancho Teaches Men How To Make Fire
Another chief came to visit these people. He asked, "Haven't you any fire?" "No, but we would like to have some because we have to eat our meat raw." "Why don't you ask Carancho (the Hawk)" "We cannot, we are surrounded by water." "Well but I succeeded m getting here." "Yes, but the water does not allow us to pass through. The water is armed with clubs to kill us. Why don't you go and speak to Carancho? Have you fire?" "Yes, but I did not bring it with me because I thought you had it. Carancho will come. When he is here, you must obey him or he will put out your fire." The chief left, and crossed the water without any trouble.
The first chief said, "Now we must wait for Carancho, who will come soon." Others said, "We'd better look for honey." "No, it is better to wait here. Carancho won't be long," said the chief.
The second chief went to speak to Carancho, "Listen, Carancho, there are people over there who have no fire. They need it badly because they have to eat their food raw." Carancho said, "I shall go there tomorrow." "You and I have equal power," said Fox, "I'll fly over there." "Have you wings?" "Yes I have, and I shall fly high into the sky." Fox flew higher and higher, but his feathers (fixed with wax) were falling out. The people said, "Look at this poor fox, he is losing his feathers." Carancho said, "This fellow will soon fall. Let him." The people called, "Fox, come back!" Fox was high in the sky. He heard the people, but answered, "These are not my feathers, these are my hairs." He lost all his feathers, fell down, and broke his neck. Carancho said, "I foresaw it. I am the only one who can help people, and nobody else. Tomorrow I shall go to see these people."
At dawn Carancho left to visit these people. He said to himself, "I shall teach these people and bring them here." He walked until he found the water. "Water, why do you behave like this? Why do you put out the fire?" The water explained, "This is the order I received. We have a master, it is Wien (a water serpent)." Carancho said, "I came in behalf of these people for whom I feel sorry because they eat their meat raw. I shall kill you and your master too." "You can kill us only if you bring fire, otherwise we shall kill you."
Caranchocame near the village and saw the people who were eating raw meat. They said, "Who is coming? Who is this man?" "I am Carancho." An unmarried girl cried to Carancho, "Caraneho, come into my hut and I shall tell you everything that has happened here." "I shall come, but first tell me if you have a husband. Anyway, I cannot get to your house because I cannot cross the water. Tell me something about this water and its master and what I have to do." The girl replied, "Give me fire. There is plenty of water here, but no fire, and we cannot cook our food. Help us. I can still speak, but the others have lost their speech because they are about to be transformed, since they have no fire." "If you obey me, I shall do something for you. Do as I say," said Carancho. "Yes." "Bring as many fish as you can," ordered Carancho. Carancho was nice to everybody. They brought the fish.
"Now," said Carancho, "bring me branches of the pi'taladik and of the kuwak'a" (wood which the Toba use for making their fire drill). The people came back with the wood. Carancho was busy; he bored a small hole in the middle of a stick, inserted another one into the shaft of an arrow (moe). He twirled this stick rapidly, and after a while the wood smoked and glowed. He took some caraguata tinder and built a big fire. He heated the heads of his spear and arrows, and plunged them into the water. The water dried up. The Master of the Water died and the people could make fire. Carancho stayed in the village. They made more fires and grilled their fish. Carancho stayed with these people.
Taken from Memoirs of the American Folklore Society, Volume XL, Philadelphia, 1946, pages 54-58.