The Boy Becomes a Man

                    Then Ibonia said,
"I am a proud ruler."
Again he leapt out of the fire.
     The earth cracked where he walked.
     The wind roared,
                    the trees withered to their roots,
                    all waters dried up,
               and all the people around him in the fire were hungry.
He touched his father and mother and the people who died at his
birth; they all came back to life.

Now Great Echo used words of force to Ibonia,
                    for he would soon return home.
At that moment Stone Man sank down three times.
The sky, where Sky Lord is, turned,
     the earth shook,
the time for the bath ceremony lost its power,
     storms raged all winter,
and the spring was too hot,
     for a hard man had passed by.
He made it hard for himself,
     he made it hard for others,
          but what was his was his already.
                              These were Great Echo's words:
"To strengthen this baby, I add to his names
     the name Loin-Girder. (67)
That baby is one heavy one.
     I call you Girds-His-Loins-Like-Father-of-Male-Big-Maned-Cat,
He takes the pieces at the end of the game.
     Girding his loins like a man, he is a hard one."

"Oh, I do not like that, Father," said Ibonia.
"That means girding oneself like a thief,
     hastening to turn one's back,
          preparing to flee.
That is not facing one's enemy, but acting like a coward.
     Men like that are scatchers of rock or of wood
                         who run into caves.
That is where they always flee, Father," said Ibonia.

"Oh, that baby is one heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I call you Girds-His-Loins-like-Male-Big-Winged-Kite.
     Gently he takes his prey,
          carries it off,
               leaving only its odor.
He girds himself like a man,
     is not ashamed before women,
          seizes his prey not with hands but with claws.
                         He is a proud one on the earth."

"Oh, I do not like that, Father," said Ibonia.
"That means girding oneself like a man who has lost wings.
     To find his food, his feet tread on excrement."

"Oh, that baby is one heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I call you, Girds-his-Loins-like-Prince-Soaked-Cuckoo.
     He flies, but not high,
          he goes, but not far,
               he eats, but slowly.
     With rum he can do nothing.
     He has a thousand iron chairs
          and a hundred silver needles.
     He has shaken the eight thousand,
          the ox falls without a rope,
               the bull falls.
He swallows them without butchering them,
     he awakes to the conch and falls asleep to beating drums.
It is he who awakes the day to be day
     and knows night will be night."

"Oh, I do not like that, Father," said Ibonia.
"That means girding oneself like a coward,
          to walk but never to go far,
     to walk without daring to go alone,
          to whistle behind every tree."

"Oh, that baby is one heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I will call you Girds-his-Loins-like-Smith-of-the-Silver-Gods.
     For play he dons his loincloth at the edge of the cliff.
     His chest is the mirror of his stomach,
          his flanks are like clear water.
     His sides are like rocks with water flowing over them,
          his loins are like links of silver,
               his calves are like posts.
He is a thousand men in accord,
               a hundred men united.
His girding himself is like a thousand men together,
                    a hundred men receiving.
Women who swoop suddenly down on him do not put it back,
     only strong women can take hold of it," said Great Echo,
          who was seeking a name for Ibonia's loincloth.

"Oh, I do not like that, Father,"said Ibonia.

"Oh, that baby is one heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I will call you Girds-his-Loins-like-Handsome-Gray-Eyed-Man.
     His tongue challenges the wind,
          his body is like ice.
     It takes a hundred men to bestride his loincloth.
          Earth has no animal so dangerous," said Great Echo.

"Oh, I do not like that, Father," said Ibonia.
"He cannot smite to death,
     he can be hacked down by anyone.
Not easily can he endure.
     He does not wound the dangerous.
He throws stones behind him,
     he kills by cheating,
          he does not throw stones like a man.
                    So I do not want that one," said Ibonia.

"Oh, that baby is a heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I will call you Girds-his-Loins-like-Prince-Friday's-Hog.
One end of his loincloth is frayed. (68)
     Closed in, he roots his way out.
He puffs up on both sides as if proud,
     he kicks the grass.
The ends of his loincloth rebound,
     his eyes butt like horns,
his ankles make trouble,
     the ends of his loincloth are wound like stones.
He is stubborn, indomitable, forbidden.
He is the cutter. His belly is inflated.
He is the prince of fuming. He is the lie.
What he does not catch is unspoken,
     but what he catches is swollen,
          is a great injury, like an unrecompensed first wife. (69)
Those he does not catch he disdains,
     for he has made them jump,
          those ones he has touched with his scissors.
Those he has not caught he is eager for," said Great Echo.
"My boy, he is a hard man on the earth," said Great Echo.
"My boy, to gird yourself like him is courage."

"Oh, I do not like that, Father," said Ibonia.
"I would be girding myself like a landless man.
It makes the king incapable of ruling
     and the people incapable of respect
not to be able to inherit from one's father
     or to keep one's own inheritance.
With no abode, he hunts in the sleeping night
                         and waits till day to sleep.
With no inheritance, he trusts instead to thieving.
As provisions for a journey he has bitter herbs."

"Oh, that baby is one heavy one," said Great Echo.
"But I will call him Girds-his-Loins-like-Princess-Like-a-Man.
The rear end of his loincloth drags on the ground,
     the front end he plays with.
He girds himself with silver,
     his loins are wrapped in gold.
He girds himself till the stars come out at night,
                    for eight months.
For him, time changes its hands.
     Day has no need to finish,
          the sun does not set without returning.
He is a thousand blessed men,
     ten thousand men with heart.
Bad men do not fix his time,
     lazy men do not take his place.
The earth he has trod in disordered, good for nothing.
A thousand men hasten,
     a hundred men hurry to answer his call.
His eyes are threatening,
his forehead a crescent moon,
his teeth planed posts,
his calves two meteors fallen to earth.
His feet are spears pulled out of the earth.
Rolling in his pace.
Beautiful-Rich he holds dear.
               Those who cannot receive his affection are sorry."

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