El Duende.jpg

Pedro opened the door and went out to the barn. He had his goat inside now that winter was coming. He milked it, as he always did, and went back into the house. His father was sitting in front of the fire place, and his mother was in the kitchen.

Here’s the milk, said Pedro, holding the bucket up to give it to his mother.

Put it on the floor, I’ll take care of it, she said and kept on cutting vegetables for the potaje.

He went into the living room to his father. He was sitting reading a book. He was always reading when he wasn’t working. Pedro sat down on the old bench beside him.

The goat is old, he said. We’ll soon need another.

There is no money, hijo. How will we get a new goat with no money?

Pedro said nothing for a while.

New times are coming, Padre. We’ll soon be better off.

A year after news came to the little village. The king had left the country. The second republic had been established. Times really were changing.

Lola was a peasant’s daughter, from a village nearby. She and Pedro met on a village party, she was there with her cousin. She was the most beautiful thing Pedro had ever seen. Less than a year after they got married.

They lived with Pedro’s parents, and loved each other deeply. Pedro got a job as the shoemaker’s assistant, and soon he could afford a new goat for his family.

The next years old landlords were loosing land to the poor peasants. People were less hungry each day. It was a time of hope, but there was also violence.

One day Pedro went out to the barn, as he used to. There was a full bucket of milk under the goat. It had had milked itself. Yes, all by itself.

Lola! Cariño! Come! Look at this!

Lola came running. Pedro was pointing excitedly at the full bucket on the floor

Look! Look!

She had a confused expression on her face.

So you milked the goat… Like you do every day..?

That’s just it! I didn’t milk the goat! It milked itself!

She looked at him for a moment. Then she started laughing.

Hahaha! Milked itself…. Hahaha! ¡Que graciosos eres!

She left, still laughing.

A creature was watching him from a pole in the ceiling. A little man, with pointy ears and a little green hat on his head. Pedro lifted his head. For a moment their eyes met. The little man seemed to be laughing. He turned into a bird and flew out of a hole in the wall.

Pedro rubbed his eyes. Strange things were happening today, he didn’t know what to believe. He went out through the door.

Down the road people were shouting. He walked down the road to see, faster and faster until he was almost running.

Three bodies had been found in a field, executed in the darkness of the night.

Part 2 here.

https://unklethan.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/requiem-por-un-campesino-espanol/#more-599

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duende_%28mythology%29

Nightmares of Cambodia