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A long time ago, among the Mapuche people, there was a chief called Copahue. He is said to have taken part in many wars, but that he fought his greatest battle alone and for love.
One day, he heard that Pirepillán, the snow fairy, was captive on the top of the Domuyo Volcano and a fierce tiger and a monstrous two-headed condor would not let anybody approach her. Copahue said goodbye to his men at the foot of the Domuyo and began to go up alone.
Once near the summit, he saw the yearned glow breaking out from a crack, but a red cougar -huge and furious- pounced on him. One hit of his spear threw the animal downhill.
-You've come at last, Copahue- said Pirepillán holding his hand. Copahue leaned down to hold her, but a condor attacked them with awful pecks. Then Copahue picked up his small knife and with two blows, he cut off the bird's head, which fell down dead to his feet.
Copahue led Pirepillán to his people and they lived as man and wife for many years. But his people never accepted the foreigner, the daughter of the mountain who had taken the chief away from his people and returned him without any yearn for glory, without the mood for war. When the Chillimapus defeated them and killed Copahue in a battle, the hatred against Pirepillán was unleashed. One night, they went for her at her tepee and pushed her to the end of the valley. Condemned to die, Pirepillán called the deadman who had once saved her with all her strength:
The scream seemed to make the Mapuches even more furious, who hurried to knock her down and made the snow fairy's transparent blood spring out. And in the very spot where she died, at the foot of the mount, her melted body continued to flow down converted into healing water.
Fragments from Leyendas de la Patagonia (Legends from Patagonia), Julia Saltzmann.
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