Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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The rat Character Analysis

When Xbalanque and Hunahpu hide themselves to figure out what's destroying their garden, the rat is the only guilty animal they're able to catch. The twins burn the rat's tail (which is why rats' tails are bald) and squeeze him by the neck (giving rats their bug-eyed appearance), but the rat goes on to help Hunahpu and Xbalanque retrieve their father's ball-playing equipment. As payment, the boys tell the rat that stored or scattered dry goods will be his food.
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The rat Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character The rat appears in Popol Vuh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Three
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...and Xbalanque make a grab at the last animal to try to run away, the rat. They catch the rat and try to burn him over the fire, but they only... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...are thrilled to learn the truth about their father and uncle, and they give the rat corn, squash seeds, beans, and cacao. They tell the rat that all stored or wasted... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
When Hunahpu and Xbalanque get to Xmucane's house, they put the rat on the roof and he starts to chew through it to get the equipment. Then,... (full context)