Grandfather’s Goblin

  • Published by hotmetalpress.net, 2004
  • I was always obsessed by ‘El Enanito del Bosque’ – ‘The Goblin of the Forest.’ That is what my grandfather Dum-Dum called him. My grandfather in Argentina.

    My mental picture of the goblin was clear. I imagined him short (of course), dark-skinned and with white-gray hair to the shoulders. He wasn’t a very tidy Enanito, I must say. This Enanito of my mind was elusive, unshaven and certainly in need of a shower. It wasn’t clear to me what age he was, nor if he was ever cold, loved or had a home. Clothed year-round in the same shades of brown corduroy, he wore a wrinkled sand-colored fedora that eclipsed his eyes and a pair of boots with metallic bottle-caps attached to the sole. For this Enanito was a dancer. Like my grandfather Dum-Dum, he would dance while he talked, while he laughed and while he drank. His favorite step was tap-dancing. And oh my God how he moved – if only in my mind…

    The Enanito wasn’t the only curious creature in my childhood, though. There was Snow White and Cinderella with their suffering and relieving happy-endings staring at me from the colorful illustrations of my picture books; Sesame Street and the Muppets mystifying me from the TV screen; Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and The Three Magic Kings granting me presents of my choosing every year; the Virgin Mary, San Martín de Porres and El Niño Jesús reminding me constantly to be a good girl and pray every night; and finally the Orsini royal family, my grandmother’s ancestors, with their crazy stories of long-lost wealth and foregone treachery…

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