The flood that had covered the earth had all drained away. But the spirits were troubled. "Who will be the people?" they asked. "The earth is dry, the skies are dry. But who will be the people?"
While they were thinking, Quetzalcoatl went down to the Dead Land beneath the earth, and when he came to the Dead Land Lord and his wife, who were guarding the bones of the dead, he cried, "Give me your bones!"
"Those valuable bones that you are guarding. I have come to get them."
"Why do you need them?"
"Because the spirits are worried. They keep asking, 'Who will be the people?'"
"Here, take my trumpet," said the Dead Land Lord. "You may have the bones if you can blow this trumpet and circle four times around my beautiful country." But the trumpet was not hollow.
Then Quetzalcoatl whispered to the worms that lived in the Dead Land, "Worms, come hollow out this trumpet." When they had hollowed it out, bees and hornets flew inside and began to buzz.
As Quetzalcoatl circled the Dead Land with the trumpet buzzing, the Dead Land Lord heard him and said, "The bones are yours. Take them." But he said to the dead who were all around him, "Tell this spirit he cannot have the bones forever. After a while he must bring them back."
"Our lord says you must bring them back," they all shouted.
"No," said Quetzalcoatl, "they must live forever."
But his inner thoughts warned him, "Don't tell them that. Tell them the bones will come back." "I will bring them back," he cried. Then he quickly gathered the bones of men and the bones of women, wrapped them up, and ran.
"Don't believe him," cried the Dead Land Lord. "If you let them go, they will never come back. Dig him a grave!"
Then the dead people dug a grave for Quetzalcoatl. And as he tried to escape, a flock of quail flew up at him and scared him, so that he stumbled into the grave and fell unconscious.
When he regained his senses, he was that the bones had been scattered and that the quail had bit into them and nibbled them. He sobbed and cried out to his inner thoughts, "How will it be?" His thoughts replied, "How will it be? The bones have been nibbled, and after a while they will rot. There will be death. You cannot change it."
He was filled with sadness. But seeing that he was now free to take the bones, he gathered them up, carried them to the place above the sky, and gave them to the spirit called Snake Woman, who ground them to powder and poured them into a jade bowl. Then Quetzalcoatl spilled blood from his body into the bowl, and all the other spirits did the same.
As the bones came to life, the spirits cried, "Born are the people! They will be our servants. We bled for them, they will bleed for us."