“I can draw just as good as our uncle can, or you,” Big Brother Ruben said matter-of-factly.
“No, you can’t,” I corrected.
“¡Niños! Callense ya!” Grandma cut in. “Dis is why you two can’t be together.”
Ruben and I looked at each other, puzzled by what she meant. But this statement became the reason Ruben and I usually had to trade places during Daddy’s visitation. Because we siblings horsed around and played too “wildly” together, when our daddy would come for me to go to his house for the weekend, he’d drop Ruben off to stay with our grandparents or with Mama. This was the normal arrangement. On rare occasions, we visited together.
My brother loved to tease me to get a reaction out of me. One weekend together at Daddy’s was no exception.
“Com’on, will ya?” Ruben impatiently waved his arm as if it would fall off, standing with the bathroom door open.
Curiosity got the best of me. “Hold your horses,” I said, trying to sound like Mama.
Big Brother looked like the cat that swallowed a pigeon, a canary, or something.
“You better not be foolin’ me,” I warned.
“Don’t be so sentimental,” he said, practicing the use of big words.
“Are too. And you’re never gonna guess what’s in here.”
“Gimme a hint.”
Ruben shook his head. “Negative.”
“Cuz, it’s gonna be nuthin’.” I stomped my foot and crossed my arms, dying to know what was inside. “You just tryin’ to trick me.”
He stood in front of the closed shower curtain and held onto it. “Ready?” Ruben asked, with eyes wide.
“Go on . . . it ain’t nuthin’.”
“It’s too . . . it’s—” With one swoop, Ruben yanked the curtain and cried, “¡El Chupacabra!”
I let out a long scream at the huge form floating in the tub.
Daddy came running out of breath. “¿Qué fue?” he demanded. “What’s wrong? What happen here? ¡Caramba! I hear you all da way outside.”
“Daddy, Ruben told me it’s ‘El Abra Ca Dabra, the goat sucker,’” I whined, mispronouncing the word.
“¿Qué? ¡Oye! What s’matter wit you?” Daddy demanded in his accent. “Why can’t you play nice? You dun do dat to your sister.” He popped Ruben on the head with his hand.
My brother flinched but kept grinning at me, mouthing the words, “boba,” before he disappeared.
“Mija, you know what dis is?” Daddy asked, holding me by my shoulder.
“It’s a pink, dead pig!” I screeched. “Why is he in the tub of water?”
“Gloria is goin’ to make pernil. We gonna eat him.”
“Roasted pig? No, Daddy, that’s yucky.”
“Whachu talkin’ ‘bout? I betchu never had it before,” he said, closing the shower curtain. “You’ll see,” he winked, taking my hand. “It’s gonna be so good.”
If my daddy said something, he was usually right.
It was yummy.
(Excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace)
© M.A. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved
Note: Featured in La Respuesta online Magazine, Feb-Mar 2014 Art & Literature section http://larespuestamedia.com/chupacabra-in-the-tub/
6 responses to “El Chupacabra in our Tub!”
That was funny especially the accent. I remember fighting with my younger brother like you did with yours. Come to to think of it, I fought with my older sister too:) As for the pink pig in the tub, not sure about that. I enjoy your writing!
Thanks Manal. Yeah, brothers can be such stinkers LOL Gotta love them! That experience surely has given me a great memory, especially since it was “yummy.” 🙂
Aren’t brothers glorious things? I have 1 girl and 4 boys – it gets frightening and oh so funny around here at times. (I’m glad it was yummy!)
I heard that! Lisa, I’m glad it was yummy, too LOL Thanks for stopping by and commenting – do come back 🙂
THAT was funny. When I lived below San Antonio for 5 years, my students in Crystal City and then Cotulla told me so many scary stories about the goat sucker. And each student story teller had seen it WITH HIS OR HER OWN EYES!
Last night my daughter and I were talking about her older son, age 15. He has Asperger’s, so he’s a little different in some ways. He asked his mom why his younger brother, age 12, picked on him all the time [He failed to mention if younger brother doesn’t start something, he will.] She gave him the only possible answer–because you’re brothers. That’s what this is.
Haha Hi Sandra, thanks for sharing your story. Looking back now, it’s all quite funny and I’ve learn to adapt. And Big Brother is still a stinker 😉