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-- For Wailer --
La Llorona - The Wailing Woman
"Es muy peligroso Tito!"
"La Llorona drowned her own children!
She'll snatch you away!"
"No soy un ninito! Ustedes can't scare
Saying that, Tito ran to his room, slamming
Tito frowned whenever La Llorona was mentioned.
When he was younger and still afraid of the dark, stories of
the crying woman dressed in flowing white frightened him to
nightmares. Now twelve, Tito no longer believed the child-snatching
tales. Still, his heart pounded whenever he walked by the river
"It's just a story," Tito thought.
"Lita y Mamacita just want me home early."
So the brave boy stayed out later each evening,
watching the shadows get longer and deeper, before running home
along the riverside, arriving home to the hacienda breathless
and late for dinner.
The night after his scolding, Tito stayed
out later still and, defying his own fears, did not run, but
strolled slowly home beside the river.
"It's not so late," he told himself.
"See, the moon has barely risen. And the señora
is still gathering the day's washing."
For not fifty meters ahead stood a woman folding
her white linens. She was beautiful, but her face appeared distorted,
pain twisting her lovely features as she cried with the keening
helplessness of a lost child. Tito's heart and soul longed to
comfort her but he was frozen, rooted in place.
He stood completely still, as did the crying
señora. But fifty meters were suddenly fifteen, then
Terror passed through Tito as he saw the truth.
This was La Llorona. Worse, her grimace was fury, not pain.
La Llorona's right hand wielded a whip of yucca fibers while
her left remained hidden beneath her robes. And her mouth, despite
the still louder wailing, was closed tight. The sobbing emanated
from within her.
Tito screamed as La Llorona's robes flowed
out and enveloped him. Within the white he saw a pale girl clothed
in white rags, dark circles and salt trails beneath her black
eyes. La Llorona's left hand held the girl's shoulder in an
iron grip. The girl wore nothing below her waist, displaying
her bottom, white as alabaster except for a criss-crossed maze
of blood-red weals.
Tito's cries matched the girl's as his clothes
bled white. La Llorona's hold on the girl loosened, then suddenly
her bone white hand tightened on his shoulder. At her touch,
all garments below his waist vanished and he felt the night
air on his privates. Then La Llorona grasped Tito's shoulder
tightly and raised her whip.
Despite her dark circles and salt trails,
the girl's expression transformed into a smile at his first
cry of pain. Above the sound of the whip Tito heard her say:
"Mejor tu que mí."
With that, a red haze dimmed Tito's mind to
everything but the searing pain in his bottom as the girl became
translucent and whiter still, her form finally merging with
La Llorona's robes.
So you want to know more about La Llorona?
The infamous tale of La Llorona (translates
as "The Wailing Woman"), dates back to 16th century
Mexico where several Indian women murdered their children and
then committed suicide rather than allow the children's Spanish
fathers to take the children away to Spain.
The legend was kept alive by oral tradition,
explaining the many versions. In each variation lies the basic
story of a woman ridding herself of her own children by drowning
them in a body of water, usually a river, and then becoming
a phantom who snatches the unwary (usually children) walking
beside a body of water.
I've been told that all Chicana writers eventually
tell a La Llorona story. So I guess this one is mine. :)
La Llorona websites - (in case ya just can't
to Mija's stories
to the treehouse