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The Colorful World of Latino Folktales

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A Quetzalcoatl Tale of Chocolate

Parke, Marilyn, and Sharon Panik.  1994.  A Quetzalcoatl tale of chocolate.  Carthage, Illinois: Fearon Teacher Aids.

Summary:  The Cacao tree was one of the most important commodities of the Maya, Aztec, and Mexico cultures.  A farmer's son gets help from the Quetzalcoatl god to help find a Cacao tree for their community.
Type:  Pourquoi - this story explains how the earth got chocolate.
Characters: Two Wind Deer is the main character who is very brave and not shy to speak his mind.
Setting: This folktale starts off telling of a story "of the old, old days of his ancestor" and it says "long ago humans were told..." (Parke p.2).  The characters are living in a village near a tropical jungle, according to the text and the pictures.
Plot: The people of the earth lived in their own jungle without the cacao tree.  They knew the god's jungle had this great tree that made a delicious chocolate drink.  The priests were deciding a way to ask the gods for chocolate when Two Wind Deer gave his advice in the temple.  The priests were very upset that a "child" came into the temple and shamed them.  Two Wind Deer ran to the jungle very upset and he became lost.  His monkey showed him the cacao tree and told him to take the beans back to his people and then he would not be ashamed.  The monkey turned into Quetzalcoatl and told him to never return to this jungle.  From that day forward, Two Wind Deer was known as the Lord of Chocolate.
Theme: One possible theme of this story may be to never give up on your dreams.

Rating: 2 out of 5
This story was okay.  It was a little too short at times and confusing.  My students did not like it either.  The pictures are colorful, but very flat and one-dimensional.  The only nice part is the end when the monkey turns into the god, Quetzalcoatl.  That was totally unexpected.

Additional Feature:


Here are some quotes from my students:
"I did not like this story, it was boring."
"The pictures are colorful, but boring story."
"I like how the monkey turned out to be the god."
"I like chocolate."
"It let me know that being kind to others will reward you."

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