To Hear the Wind

Did you ever think about something that happened in the past and wish to could have done this or that or said something that would have changed the situation? Well I think my Grandpa Richard has some kind of record for that kind of thing.

From time to time my Grandpa Richard would visit my mother and tell stories of his past life. I remember when he told my mother how his older brother would do crazy things and he would just participate in whatever scheme his brother would dream up. This particular time my grandpa told my mother about time his older brother, John, was going to let him listen to the wind.

This happened sixty years ago when my grandpa, and his brother, were very young and his brother told him that he would allow him to listen to the wind.  My grandpa really was amazed that his brother would do such a nice thing and he did want to hear the wind.

His older brother told him it would be very simple.  All he had to do was stand there while he would chuck rocks by him and he could hear the wind as the rock went by.  So my grandpa stood there and his brother went off a ways and threw a rock in his general direction. Excitedly my grandpa listened as the rock went by. His older brother said "Did you hear the wind?" My grandpa said that he did not. So his brother threw a bigger rock closer. My grandpa strained his ears but he still did not hear the wind. A larger rock and a closer throw still did not produce the sound of the wind. Finally his older brother threw a large rock with all his might and struck my grandpa in the face. My grandpa remembers the blood and dirt as he tumbled back wards crashing into the bushes behind him.

As my grandpa finished the story he looked at my mother in deep thought, begin to nod his head and said "You know, I should have told him that I heard the wind."

Dad in a suit

The following is a story developed from an old photograph of my Father. (Ha Ha)

My Dad only completed the eight grade but retired from Civil Service, after 35 years, as a video specialist. In all my memory he always wore dress slacks and a button down shirt and to this day he dresses the same.

I saw an old black and white photograph of him dressed in the same manner. He was a young teenage boy in the picture. He was standing there straight as an arrow with a very stern look on his face. I couldnít help but notice that the shirt was buttoned all the way to the top with no tie. I wondered about this and asked him.

My Father laughed and told me this story.

This had to do with the season of Christmas. In those days people just didnít have much. During Christmas his Father would go up to Guatay Mountain and cut a Christmas tree for the family. My Father had 14 brothers and sisters. Some of them were adopted and my Father, later in life, realized that the children in his family were not all blood kin. Later in life his father would take in more children. In all his Father adopted five children. This was quite astounding since his family, as with many rural families, were very poor. This was in the late 1920's.

My Father now recalls the tree as a bit scraggly but back then it was a wondrous Christmas tree because the family was happy. It didnít take much to make a family happy. One thing they looked forward to was clothing donations from the city. It was a good thing to get a set of clothing without patches. On this particular Christmas they found one pair of dress pants and a dress shirt in one of the donation boxes. He and his brothers had never owned anything like it and they were so overwhelmed by it that they each took turns wearing it and taking pictures of each other. It didnít exactly fit all of them but that didnít matter. Such a thing might never happen again.

I see children today getting all kinds of electronic Christmas presents and I wonder if anything has been lost because there is no longer joy and happiness in an old shirt and pair of pants.

KaKwipe!

Much of my lore I learned from my Grandmother on my Mother's side. She managed to get through the depression but it was not easy. She told me a story about her only male child. He was a brilliant child and could talk at three months. My Grandfather on Father's side said that when he heard the child say "Whoís that?" he said ĎIím going to die now because I heard this baby talk." I have heard of other children speaking at that age so I know it does happen. The reason that most children canít speak is because their voice box is not developed at such a young age.

During the height of the depression my Grandmotherís family sat down for dinner. It was very tough in those days. People were hungry. At least she had some soup and she placed it in front of her son. He looked at it and began to yell "KaKwipe! KaKwipe!." This means meat in our language. She said there was no meat to be had and her son was asking for meat. My Grandmother would laugh when she told this story because he was asking for something that they would not have for a long time.

My Grandmother is long gone and I have a family of my own. I raised two sons and I remember that we had some tough times. Then again maybe the tough times for me werenít so tough

The Hutamul

My Grandmother told me this story and I really enjoyed it.

One there was a boy who cried all the time. He would cry and cry for no reason. His parents told him not to cry because the Hutamul would hear him crying and come and get him. The boy continued to cry, ignoring his parents warning.

One day, as the boy was crying, an old lady said "Don't cry, here is some meat." The boy looked up and the old lady was offering him some squirrel meat. He reached up to get the meat and the lady grabbed him and threw him into a large basket on her back. A horrible thing was that the basket was not a basket but a part of the women's body.

She had massive feet and began to run up and down the mountains in large strides. The people of the village saw what had happened and ran after her. She was running faster than them with her great strides.

The boy didn't know what to do. He noticed that she would pass under threes and he could see the branches go by. He reached up and tried to grab the branch but missed. He tried a second time and missed again. The third time he caught the branch and the Hutamul ran off without him. He went back home to his parentís home but they knew the Hutamul would come after him.

The Father begin to heat great rocks in the fire. The Mother begin to prepare cactus apples. The rocks became hot and more wood was added. They became red hot and still more wood was added. Finally the rocks became white hot. The Hutamul came to the door. She wanted the boy.

The parents told the Hutamul to sit and relax, they would send for the boy. In the mean time the parents asked her to open her mouth and close her eyes and they would give her something good. She closed her eyes and opened her massive mouth and they put pealed cactus apples in her mouth. The Hutamul chewed them and enjoyed them. The parents told her to open her mouth wider. The Hutamul opened her mouth still wider and they put more cactus apples in. The Hutamul relished the cactus apples and the parents asked her for a third time to open her mouth again. This time her mouth opened wider still. Wide enough to swallow a child. Instead of putting the cactus apples in they put in the hot rocks.

The Hutamul screamed and ran out of the house. She begin to scream and circle the house. Each time she circled the house it sunk into the ground. As she went around and around the house sunk lower and lower until it was gone.

Some people say the Hutamul disappeared with the house and is gone but there are others who say that she escaped and still hunts for children who cry too much.

My Grandmother told me that I went to a parade and talked to her about it. She said that I saw a clown and remarked,

"... and I saw the Hutamul."