El Cuero es un animal mítico que habita en lagunas poco profundas de la zona sur de Chile y también en Argentina.
Tiene una forma parecida a una manta raya de agua dulce, pero de color oscuro. Se dice mucho de el, incluso que puede ser un animal prehistórico que ha quedado aislado en determinados lugares (masas de agua de determinado tamaño), llegando en existencia vital hasta nuestros días. Algo así como un trilobite aplastado.
El Cuero envuelve y devora a los desprevenidos bañistas. Su nombre se debe a que quienes lo han visto, aseguran que tiene la forma de un cuero de vaca que flota apaciblemente en las aguas del Cucao o en los ríos y esteros de la zona.
Se dice además que sus bordes están llenos de una especia de uñitas, que la cara su cara inferior es terriblemente horrible poseyendo una par de tentáculos que terminan en ojos y una boca llena de dientes.
Para eliminar a este monstruo se deben solicitar los servicios de un Machi quien mediante un conjuro hace aparecer al animal en la orilla de la laguna donde habita. Acto seguido lanza un al agua unas ramas de calafate, planta que posee durísimas espinas. El calafate va envuelto con la piel de algún animal, y de esta manera se logra engañar al cuero que al pensar que es alguna criatura lo envuelve, clavándose las espinas de calafate, tras lo cual da unos giros frenéticos de dolor para luego hundirse en la laguna donde morirá desangrado.
The Cuero - The Leather
The Cuero inhabits rivers, lakes, lagoons and the sea as well, but it is mostly found in small and dark lagoons. It has the shape of a huge spread bovine leather. Due to this characteristic, its indigenous name is “The Threquelhuecuvu”(thrulque = leather Huecuvu = harmful genius). It has around its body some sort of sharp claws. Few people have had the chance of seeing its head, however, it is said that it has tentacles similar to pincers which end in a pair of pop reddish eyes. Other people claim they have seen its face which for them was indescribably horrible. What has been claimed as really true is that there is a big mouth under its body in the centre, resembling a sucker, this one absorbing all the blood of its victims.
The Cuero moves slightly along the waters looking for food. Try not to be near the waters where it inhabits, because The Cuero could use its dark powers, thus causing the tide to be higher or hypnotizing the poor unlucky individual.. Then, if the level of the tides allows it, The Cuero quickly wraps up its victim and drags it to the bottom of the sea, where it will gobble it up. When the person or animal is swimming in its waters, its sinister thirst of blood turns to be easy to satisfy.
It is well - known that people who have been near the banks of a river have been caught by The Cuero. There is a story known by many people which says that there was a woman washing and carelessly she left her baby on the banks of the river, and then all of a sudden The Cuero appeared to get hold of the baby and gobbled up the helpless child
To break free from The dangerous Cuero, the services of a well-gifted and experienced Machi have to be required. This person with his or her ruthless magic brings The Cuero to the shore, Once The Cuero is near, this Machi deceives it and he or she throws aCalafate ( a thick-thorned bush and has a bluish and sweet round fruit) branches at it. The Cuero is blinded by the powerful magic from The Machi, and it wraps up the branch , thinking it is a delicious prey.
As it is clutching the branches, the thorns penetrate its body, tearing apart and bleeding to death.
This aquatic monster dwells in Chiloe only. It is also well- known that it can be found in some lagoons in the Southern part of Chile. When I was a little child I used to play with my neighbours in some lagoons near my house in Puerto Montt, but we were not allowed to swim in them, because every body knew they were inhabited by The Cuero.
Personally, I have never seen it, however I have met some people who I am certain don’t like to make up tales or stories and they have said to me they saw it in San José de La Costa, near Valdivia, and in Carelmapu ( green land in Mapuche dialect). I am going to study this, or film it. If my adventure happens to be successful, the final outcome will be here.