There are many Mayab legends that told and re-told many times by grandmothers to their children and grandchildren . One of the most popular is the legend of Nicte-Ha ( water flower).As in all fairy stories it tells of the prince and his love and of the bad guys too!
Chacdziedzib was a prince in the land of the Mayab. He was known for his great aim and expertise with his bow,a just and brave warrior.He was deeply in love with the guardian of the sacred cenotes daughter, Nicte-ha .They would meet every night where they would express their love for each other. This relationship did not resonate well with the priests and many of the townspeople. They thought because that Nicte-ha ,no matter how beautiful she was , was not an adequate match for their prince because she was not a princess!
For the good of the kingdom Chacdziedzib should marry a princess from another city.The priests making their plans to sacrifice Nicte-ha was overheard by a close friend of the Prince . He the prince immediately sent out a warrior to bring Nicte-ha to his side and formally claim her as his wife .
The warrior could not carry out his orders as he was mysteriously killed before he could find Nicte-ha. When the prince heard this he took his bow and went to the cenote in search of his beloved Nicte-ha .He found her there but out of the shadows an arrow struck her in the heart and she fell into the cenote .
The prince watched helplessly as she disappeared into the sacred waters leaving her dress floating on the surface. Heartstricken the young prince begged and prayed to the Gods for mercy. They took pity on him and transformed Nicte-ha into a water-lily and the heart of the prince transformed into a beautiful red bird( cardinal)
And if you are lucky in the early mornings you may be able to see this vibrant bird perched on the leaves of its beloved flower.