The Devious and Unpredictable Duende

Be Aware of your Thumbs

They have a green snake with a red eye, and every time he sees you he can dazzle your eye. And that, snake can come and hurt you because, those are the snake we call the Ishta Bai. He turn into a person. Aahaa well, that’s the same duende! That’s the same green snake, you see! That’s the duende! He whistles, that green snake whistles. And when he whistles, he wants to sight you already, and his eyes big! He then, then when you see that, duende form, he ask you "Make I see you" ….But he make sign, …. He’s dumb! He only do these fingers like that, in front of you [holding up hands, thumbs Hidden]. And, …. And if you do you four [no thumbs], you’re safe. But if you do ten [showing thumbs], they going to break one off each side. They are going to twist the thumbs off. So whenever you show a duende your hand, always show them back on, …. This way [thumbs hidden].

They take the horse them, in the night when the moonlight, …. The duende they come and play with the pony. They plait their hair. They plait their hair, they really like horses a lot. They play with the horse, my horse, Niña. And sometimes they loose your horse. Yes, and sometimes they loose them. Sometimes ….mine tie [small vine] they rocking. They tie a vine, then they tie the next one in, …. Make you say, about …. Three meters, …. How the three, they separated. And they tie their vines, and they do their swinging. To and fro.

Don’t be fooled or You’re lost!

We see one already in Corozal. I sight one in Corozal. Well, we stay off from far. And he has a big hat, make out of palm. And he put on that big hat. And is very small, how do you say, just has a meter tall. The Duende is not big. And the baby duende just about that high, which is about, how do you say, …. A …. Half a meter, the young duendes. Oh, the duendes eyes are gray. You can see him, its gray. And he turn, sometimes he turn into your own little brother, or your own classmate, "Teo, come here." And Teo will look around and say," Oh, it’s ….It’s Jane." And I will follow ‘Jane.’ And when he all appear to you he all appear in the evening, …. Six o’clock in the evening, and early, twelve o’clock in the day. And you must see that animal on Good Friday. On the Easter time, those duende are out during Easter time.

Well, if you follow the duende, he will get you lost. He has a, a heavy power. He sees you and he can get you lost. And … that’s why, he steals your mind. And then you going to follow him …. And when he get about, make you say, out of sight of people, he come and he hold you, because then he already has you lost. You don’t know where you are. And sometimes, maybe, you there just about ten meters from off the main road! But you are,…. You are lost., and you don’t know where you are now. Then, and then, I tell my children when they go to the bush (jungle), they must all time listen and watch, and see their feeling when they get in the bush, and when their feeling change. Because when that animal is close you, you feel all the hair from your pores … THEY STAND UP. And so you feel that you are close of something, and so you decide to turn back.

How to Come Back , Carefully

And again, when the duende take a life, like that, from a family, that family has to … know a …. A …. Witch doctor, that knows some prayers to bring the kid back OUT. That he can turn the kid back to his own sense, because the duende has already stolen their senses. And whenever time they come back, they use the same, the same copal. The witch doctor use the same copal to smoke that evil spirit that take that child. And that child going to come back. Because that smoke going to catch that duende, where ever he is.

And his own self — that duende- he is going to give back that baby at the same place he took him from, the same place he will return him. Make his family see him, and when his family see him, he’s not good in his feeling. He’s still frightened, because then it’s just a prayer. When after they bring him back, they will take him to the witch doctor and the witch doctor will give him a bath. He will take a bath to come full back with his five senses that he has. He going to take about, maybe, you say, about three weeks then he can come back. To know truely he’s at home BACK. But he will take attendance from that witch doctor, about three weeks. That before he comes completely-back.