Sunday, March 24, 2019

El Calcetín Rojo (The Red Sock)

I've had two teachers thus far for my Spanish studies here in Guatemala -- Cintia and Mary. Cintia did not assign homework; Mary did. I would like to share my favorite homework assignment with you.

At the end of one of my Spanish sessions, Mary wrote the following on the whiteboard:

"S/he spent an hour looking for the red sock."

My homework was to develop a story from this lead. And so that is just what I did. Later that afternoon, I sat down at my desk and flipped my brain switch to Spanish-mode. My pen began to dance across the lines on the page, spilling out ink...

that formed into words...

Pages one and two...

...that formed into sentences...

...and three and four...

...that formed into paragraphs...

...and five.
¡Dios mío, I just wrote a five-page story in Spanish!

...that formed into something resembling a real story in Spanish. Here is the story that resulted, first in Spanish (after a few minor corrections made by Mary) and then in English:

El Calcetín Rojo

Mary se pasó una hora buscando el calcetín rojo. ¿Dónde podría estar? Ella había abierto cada cajón en la casa y ella había mirado debajo de la cama y detrás de cada puerta. Ella había buscando arriba y abajo, por dentro y por afuera, y por encima y por debajo. El calcetín rojo no estaba por ninguna parte.

El calcetín rojo había sido un regalo de su abuela, que murió hace veinte años. Su abuela tejió el calcetín de lana colorado roja de la sangre de su esposo muerto. El calcetín rojo era un calcetín grande, destinado a ser colgado de la chimenea en la víspera de navidad.

Pero entonces, hace diez años, Santa Claus dejó una barra de chocolate en el calcetín rojo. El calor del fuego en la chimenea se derretió la barra y dejó una mancha del calcetín. Mary había tirado el calcetín rojo en la lavadora para limpiarlo. Pero cuando ella sacó el calcetín rojo de la secadora, ella descubrió que el calcetín rojo se había reducido de tamaño. En la secadora, la costura también se había aflojado en un extremo.

Mary no vio este incidente como una pérdida. En lugar, ella empezó a usar el calcetín rojo como un espacio de almacenamiento oculto por los aretes de diamantes que ella heredó de su abuela -- los aretes que se habían valorado de 1.5 millones de quetzales.

Mientras Mary se preguntaba dónde podría estar el calcetín rojo, ella miró por la ventana de su habitación del tercer piso. Ella notó una paloma volando por la ventana con un hilo rojo en su pico.

"¡Mi calcetín rojo!" ella gritó. Ella bajó corriendo por dos tramos de escaleras y salió por la puerta de atrás hacia donde se estaba secando la lavandería. (Ella había dispuesto de la secadora después del incidente con el calcetín rojo montando en caliente, porque ella tenía miedo que otra ropa se monte en caliente también.)

En este momento, ella vio un hilo largo y rojo, muy alto en el cielo. Como ella alcanzaba sus manos por lo poco que quedaba del calcetín rojo, dos aretes de diamantes se cayeron en sus manos. El extremo del hilo rojo levantó en el cielo, hacia el cielo donde su abuela residía.

The Red Sock

Mary spent an hour looking for the red sock. Where could it be? She had opened every drawer in the house, and she had looked under the bed and behind every door. She had looked up and down, inside and outside, and above and below. The red sock was nowhere to be found.

The red sock had been a gift from her grandmother, who died twenty years ago. He grandmother knitted the sock from wool colored red by the blood of her dead spouse. The red sock was a big sock, meant to be hung from the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

But then, ten years ago, Santa Claus left a bar of chocolate in the red sock. The heat from the fire in the fireplace melted the bar and left a stain on the sock. Mary had thrown the red sock in the washing machine to clean it. But when she took the red sock out from the dryer, she discovered that the red sock had been reduced in size. In the dryer, the seam had also come undone at one end.

Mary did not see this incident as a loss. Instead, she began to use the red sock as a hidden storage space for the diamond earrings she had inherited from her grandmother -- the earrings that had been valued at $1.5 million dollars.

While Mary wondered where the red sock might be, she looked out the window of her third floor bedroom. She noticed a pigeon flying by the window with a red thread in its beak.

"My red sock!" she shouted. She ran down the two flights of stairs and ran out the back door to where the laundry was drying. (She had disposed of the dryer after the incident with the shrinking red sock because she feared that other clothes would shrink as well.)

In this moment, she saw a long and red thread, very high in the sky. As she reached her hands for what little remained of the red sock, two diamond earrings fell into her hands. The end of the red thread rose in the sky, to the heaven where her grandmother resided.

¡Frijoles frescos, amigos, estoy progresando! (Cool beans, friends, I'm making progress!)


I would love to hear your comments on this post!