23. What will happen?

(Maya, Central America)

At the beginning of each age the world is created and peopled, and each age must come to an end at last. In the past each world has turned evil in the end and been destroyed, and so ours will be in the future. What will happen? The rain serpent will reach across the sky and belch forth torrents of water, and from the sun and moon great streams are going to gush down. The old goddess is waiting, with her tiger claws; the crossbones, emblem of death, decorates her skirt and upon her head a crown of live snakes is wriggling; she halts the water for a while, but then the black god is ready to destroy us all. He will step out and on his fearsome head sits an owl screeching in fury.