Era una noche caliente when Canutito came pa’la cocina for dinner. Something smelled really good pero era algo que Canutito had never tasted before. No era carne ni huevos con papas nor spaghetti o ninguna cosa that Canutito didn’t know. He waited patiently mientras que Grama Cuca brought la comida a la mesa. She put algo medio squarish en su plato. Parecía como un candy bar wrapped in something yellow.

Era la primera vez que Canutito had seen a tamale. Since he was hungry, pepenó el tamale and he tried to bite into it. He pulled and he pulled on it con los dientes pero el tamale just wouldn’t cut. He bit into it otra vez. Nada. En ese momento Grampo Caralampio saw him y soltó la risa. “Oh m’hijo,” he laughed, “¿Qué no sabes cómo comer tamales? Tienes que quitare el corn husk first!”

Canutito felt un poco foolish as he unwrapped la hoja de maíz surrounding the tamale and looked at it. Grampo, still laughing, said to him: “Don’t feel bad, m’hijo! Smarter men que tú have made el mismo equívoco. Why just last week, el Presidente Carter fue a México and he tried de comerse un tamale contí hoja en un presidential dinner. Los newspapers hicieron fon de él, burlándose for weeks.”

Canutito tomó otro bite; ahora it was quite a bit softer para comer. Just as he was starting to enjoy it though, sintió algo bien picante en su boca. Quickly he spit out the tamale, escupiéndolo right en el plato. He hadn’t been prepared por una comida tan spicy. Quickly he reached por su vaso de agua.

Necesitas algo sweet para quitarte el sabor del chile picante, m’hijo,” grampo said to him. “Curre traete un jarro de ese juice de la elefanta.”

Canutito hurried to the pantry donde Grama Cuca kept los jarros de soda. He knew que whenever grampo referred to a soda as juice de la elefanta, he really meant Fanta orange drink. He never corrected grampo though porque he loved to think que iba a beber juice del una elefanta anaranjada.

He came back pa’la mesa y se sentó. Tomó otro bite del tamale. It was still too hot. “Are tamales always tan quemosos?” he asked grampo. He took un swig de su elefanta in between bites.

“Not always, m’hijo,” grampo replied. En algunas partes hacen tamales con bits of pineapple or mango inside. Esos son sweet tamales.”

“Wow!” Canutito exclaimed. “I think que a mí sí me gustaría comer tamales made con piña o con mangos! I only wish que los tamales no estuvieran wrapped en hojas de maíz; that makes them muy difíciles para comer.”

“Well actually en angunos countries envuelven los tamales in banana leaves rather que en hojas de maíz and when they unwrap them, tienen un sabor muy bueno,” grampo explained al muchachito.

By the time que Grampo Caralampio had finished platicándole la historia de los tamales de partes diferentes del mundo, Canutito had eaten todos sus tamales.

He looked at grampo and he said: “¡Qué cena tan buena! I love eating tamales juntos, nomás yo y la elefanta!” …

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