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The Trickery of the Ojáncanu


Regional legend about Cantabria

In the misty mountains of Cantabria, where sun rarely dared pierce the ancient oaks, lurked the fearsome Ojáncanu. Unlike the charming trickster of legend, this creature embodied primal brutality. Towering over men, his single eye glowed with malevolent hunger, and his roar echoed through the valleys, sending shivers down the spines of even the bravest souls.


One day, a young shepherdess named María, known for her courage and wit, found herself separated from her flock. As dusk painted the sky, she stumbled upon a hidden cave – the cyclops' lair. Panic threatened to consume her, but instead, María drew upon her quick thinking. Instead of cowering, she began to sing, her voice echoing through the cavern, sweet and clear.


Intrigued, the Ojáncanu emerged, his bellow shaking the stones. María feigned ignorance, claiming to be lost and seeking shelter. The cyclops, captivated by her voice and audacity, offered her a deal: stay the night, sing for his amusement, and he would guide her out at dawn.


María agreed, weaving tales and songs, lulling the beast with her melodious voice. With each passing hour, she learned his weaknesses, his vulnerabilities hidden behind his monstrous facade. As dawn approached, she sang a final, enchanting song, its melody drawing the Ojáncanu into a deep slumber.


Seizing the opportunity, María grabbed a burning torch from the cave fire and plunged it into the cyclops' one eye. The beast howled in pain, the cavern trembling with his rage. María fled into the rising sun, the Ojáncanu's furious bellows echoing behind her.


News of María's bravery spread like wildfire. The mountains, once haunted by fear, now carried the echo of her defiance. While the Ojáncanu retreated deeper into his cave, wounded and wary, María became a symbol of wit and courage, reminding everyone that even the most formidable foe can be overcome with cunning and a spirit that refuses to be cowed.


Elements of Cantabria in the legend:


  • Ojáncanu: The protagonist transformed into a fearsome cyclops representing cruelty.

  • Hidden cave: A common motif in Cantabrian legends, often associated with hidden treasures or mythical creatures.

  • Music and trickery: María's wit and use of song reflect the importance of storytelling and cunning in Cantabrian folklore.

  • Defiance against nature: María's victory over the Ojáncanu embodies the human spirit overcoming overwhelming odds.



Geography Game Gehaul. Cantabria flag. Region of Spain
Cantabria (España)

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