Just now I am learning of some of Puch’s other incarnations. This time as a villain in the superhero comic Thor. I think back to the first time I saw Ahpuch depicted in visual form; a skeleton adorned with bells in The Dresden Codex, which is thought to be the earliest known book from the Americas, and the most intact and complete of the Mayan Codices surviving today. Sometimes he is depicted with the head of an owl. Supposedly to this day some Mexicans of Mayan descent believe that an owl’s screeches signify imminent death; “Cuando el tecolote canta … el indio muere; When the great owl sings, the Indian dies.”
So I say ah!puch! But sometimes it sounds like ah!Pook! And sometimes it only sounds like breath escaping between my teeth.
Ah!Puch! has many different forms, and it is rare I ever see him look the same…I am often surprised that I recognise him at all. And of course I use the name Ah!Puch, as a person who adopts a stray cat gives it a name. I call the cat Fritz even though I know that that is not its name. I could just as easily call Fritz Herbert, Frank, Nanuknuk, Taco, Sketch…And so Ah!Puch! knows other names, other forms: Yama, Mot, Yanluo, Anubis + Osiris, Ghede, Azrael, The Grim Reaper…Ah!Puch!
“Ah!Puch! is here…”
Where is Ah!Puch?
Ah!Puch! is here.