torres_spanglish.jpg

LARRY TORRES

Una mañana Grama Cuca had gone into el cuartito frío to look por un documento that she needed. Canutito noticed que la puerta leading to the cold room was open and he slid inside también a ver what was in there. As grama ruffled through los cajoncitos in the dresser, looking por su document, Canutito gazed up a los santos que Grama Cuca had hanging in frames en la pared.

He saw a scary picture de la Virgen del Carmelo as she looked down at many people burning en el Purgatorio. There was another picture de two little children que estaban en danger of falling de una puente into un río turbulente as a guardian angel watched over them. Finally Canutito looked up curiously a un crucifijo de un Cristo in one corner del cuarto.

Canutito had never seen a un Cristo en la cruz quite como éste: It was a Christ that was completamente negro instead of the traditional Cristo blanco que he had always seen. El Cristo tenía una cloth colorada wrapped around his hips y no una blanca. It also had una golden corona de espinas. El Cristo negro had his legs pulled up and turned hacia el lão. El interés del muchachito had been piqued.

“Grama,” Canutito said, still mirando al Cristo negro, “¿por qué está este Jesús on the cross all black?”

Grama Cuca looked up del dresser drawer and smiled. “That is el Cristo del Veneno, m’hijo,” she replied.

“The Christ of the Poison, grama? What does that mean?” Canutito asked.

“There is an old story,” grama said as she found su documento and closed el cajoncito de la cómoda. “Izque once upon a time there was a priest. Y este padre would go pa’la iglesia every morning to pray. Cada mañana, antes de rezar, he would walk up to the big crucifix con un Cristo blanco that was hanging en la pared and kiss the feet of the white Jesus.”

“Why would the priest hacer eso, grama?” Canutito asked her.

Es porque el padre was very devout,” Grama Cuca said as she continued su historia.Pero inside the church, toward the very back, there was un hombre bien envidioso who would watch al padre besándole los pies al Cristo. This envious man used to think que el padre would kiss the feet of the white Jesus nomás para hacer show. Slowly el hombre envidioso started coming up con un plan to expose al padre.”

“So the envious man thought que el padre era un hypocrite?” Canutito asked.

“Sí, m’hijo, grama affirmed. “Pensaba que el padre era un hipócrita. On morning, antes que el padre came in to kiss los pies del Cristo blanco, el hombre envidioso sneaked toward the altar and con una botellita de veneno de víbora.”

“Really, grama?” Canutito asked, turning back to look at her. “El envious man had a little bottle of rattlesnake poison?”

“Si, m’hijo,” grama said. “El hombre envidioso went over to the white Christ and painted his feet con rattlesnake poison so that cuando el padre came a besarle los pies, he would lick the poison and die.”

“Ésa es una cosa mala, grama,” Canutito remarked. “What happened?”

El hombre envidioso hid as the priest came inside the church,” Grama Cuca said. “El padre walked over as usual to kiss the feet del Cristo blanco pero as he leaned over to do so, el Cristo pulled up sus piernas and moved them to one side and slowly he began to turn completamente negro from feet to head. Así, el padre was saved por su devoción y el Jesús became known as ‘el Cristo del Veneno’ among the faithful.”

Canutito smiled and he walked over the kissed the feet of the Black Christ of the Poison hanging en la pared