Mexican Folk Tales by Anthony John Campos

Mexican Folk Tales by Anthony John Campos

Author:Anthony John Campos [Campos, Anthony John]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
ISBN: 9780816543885
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Published: 1977-12-01T00:00:00+00:00

The Old Woman And El Señor

THERE was once an elderly señora who spun wool on her spinning wheel as she daydreamed her old age away. Day after day in her white room she would think, “How beautiful my room is, but how I wish I had a statue of the Señor.”

The señora’s house was situated on a rural rancho and, for this reason, she prayed all the harder that a traveling merchant would happen along and sell her a statue of the Señor, before death asked for her.

One day, the señora’s nephews and nieces were playing in the yard when a man appeared. “Where is the lady of the house?” he wanted to know. “Ask her if she will buy a statue of the Señor from me.”

The children ran up to where the old woman was spinning. “Mama, mama,” they cried. “There’s a man out there who says he’ll sell you a Señor.”

The señora dropped what she was doing and ran outside to greet the stranger.

“Won’t you buy the Señor?” asked the man.

“Oh, kind sir, how did you know that I so desired a statue of the Señor?” asked the old woman. “Let me go and get you some money.”

The señora started inside but the stranger stopped her. “Here, take the Señor in with you. Then you can bring me out the money,” he said.

The señora went inside the house, but when she came out with the money, the merchant had disappeared. She asked her nieces and nephews to help her find the man. She even paid gritones1 who shouted her message from every corner of the rancho. But her efforts to locate the merchant were in vain. He had disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared.

The days passed, then turned into months, and the incident with the merchant was forgotten. The señora had a little altar built in the corner of her room and there she placed the Señor.

One day, as she dozed at her spinning wheel, the Señor caught fire from one of the candles on top of the altar. By the time the old woman awoke, the Señor was badly burned and she began to weep bitterly. She picked him up, took him to the river, and washed his wounds with cotton in the cool stream. Then she sent him off to Guadalajara to be repaired. But as soon as he got back to the señora’s house, all the paint and plaster fell off, and the wounds from the fire revealed themselves again.

The Señor was sent away to be repaired two more times. However, as soon as he was returned to his altar, his wounds became visible again.

The years went by and the story of the Señor spread far and wide. One could hear accounts of the Señor even in the most remote corners of the haciendas. “Even if it did not rain today, why worry,” people would say. “We have faith in the Señor and we can always go to him.”

When the old señora died, she


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