When the Aztecs settled at "The
Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus", they tried very hard to get
along with their neighbors as their main god had instructed them to do.
They did not go to war. They did not capture people to feed to their
many gods. Instead, they used their own people. It was an honor to be
sacrificed. Everyone knew that.
In a spirit of goodwill, the Aztec emperor sent a
messenger to a nearby tribe. The chief of the tribe had been a bit
standoffish so far. The emperor was hoping that his message might help
to make a new friend. The emperor's message was an invitation. He
invited the chief's daughter to journey to the Aztec capital to meet his
When the princess arrived at Tenochtitlan, the
Aztec capital city, she brought with her many servants and attendants,
along with a gorgeous wedding dress and presents for her new family. She
spent a most enjoyable evening with the emperor and his handsome son.
A few days later, when her father arrived in the
city of Tenochtitlan, he fully expected to attend a wedding. Imagine his
surprise when he learned that his daughter had been sacrificed with
great ceremony, along with her many attendants and slaves. It was the
highest honor the Aztecs could pay.
Broken hearted, the chief hurried home to his
people. That very day, he sent his army to wage war on the horrible
Aztecs. The Aztecs won. They went on to conquer tribe after tribe in the
valley. Each conquered tribe had to pay tribute to the Aztecs in the
form of food, clothing, jewels, and of course, captives to feed the
hungry gods. That made the Aztecs very happy and very rich.
Truly, the Aztecs were not worried that their main
god might be angry with them for going to war a little sooner than
originally planned. After all, they had tried to get
along. And just as soon as they had conquered all the people in the
valley, they would live in peace with their neighbors,
exactly as their god had told them to do. Surely there could be no
confusion about that.
of the Prickly Pear Cactus
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