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The abandoned settlement of El Coruco in Northern New Mexico is said to be haunted by witches, ghosts and the sound of rattling chains. People claim to have seen lights in the long-empty homes. So one night, when Natividad sees lights in the houses, he decides to go see for himself. Do witches really exist? As he reaches the haunted area, his horse begins to act strange, and he feels spooked too. Soon he hears a scary voice say: ''Ah, silly man, how could you be so stupid to come here? Don't you know who I am?'' And before he knows it, he and his terrified horse are racing home with a ball of fire nipping at their heels.
In this bilingual collection of stories for intermediate readers, native New Mexican Nasario Garcia writes the stories he heard as a child while gathered around the potbelly stove on cold winter nights, at campfires during cattle roundups, or while working in the fields at his family's ranch.
Narrated by a young boy named Junie Lopez, the stories will send shivers up kids' spines while capturing the essence of New Mexican folklore. In the Land of Enchantment, santos carved wooden saints like the Holy Child of Atocha talk to people and express their desires. Witches disguised as small birds known as coquimbo owls fly around the countryside in the deepest, darkest night. And if you should encounter Maruja la bruja, beware! She might want to make a deal with you.
Based on the oral tradition and superstitions of a previous generation, these stories in English and Spanish will both entertain and provide insight to a time when people lived a more rural life and winged creatures flitted over the countryside.