Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Gods' Chess Set

Here there are huge rock formations which look like chess pieces, scattered about as if they had been thrown down in anger by a god.

Local tradition holds that this is precisely what happened. Father-on-the-Mountain is said to have thrown them down after losing at chess to Scarab-Rabbit. The clever rabbit had arranged with Shepherdess-of-Heaven, the beautiful goddess of rain, to distract him.

The 'base' of each 'piece' is about as wide as a town. And, indeed, they have become such, as local people have hollowed out homes in them.

Each rock is held to be a particular piece, and it is believed that residents take on the characteristics of the piece in which they live. Thus those in pawns (which, the reader is no doubt aware, are named for 'peons', meaning peasants) become skilled at tilling the soil, bargaining, knowing the ways of animals, and the like. Those in knights become skilled in war, and those in bishops in religion. Those in rooks, living 'in an ivory tower', are said to gain an aptitude for all kinds of academic learning, while those in kings and queens gain a regal bearing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...