jueves, 13 de octubre de 2011

Christopher's bilingual stories

English translation for my grandson Christopher Diego on his 5th birthday,
Ita Betty Jean Curtis Inselmann

As if in a dream, he jumped onto the grass playing field of a magnificent stadium. Because it was empty he was able to read in giant letters on one of the grandstands: Real Madrid. Christopher was impressed and even more so when he was approached by a very friendly player who was also quite imposing.

“And you, what are you doing here?

“My name is Christopher Diego and I am the winner of a promotion that the Real Madrid sponsored in the United States for five year olds to play a friendly match here against the youngest players of Barcelona.

And why have they chosen you?”

“Because I am the best goalkeeper and also the best goal making forward of my age in the USA.”

“It is rather strange being good at both things”, said the other.

“Beckham said the same thing; I dribbled him five times in a small span of playing field in an exhibition that we both took part in.

“You must be terrific!”

“I am. And what’s your name?”, asked the boy.

“Me? Cristiano”

“¡Oh, yes! I have seen you play on American Gol TV and you are not bad at all.

“Can you see me there, too?”

“Of course. My father told me that the Real Madrid has been popular in the USA for many, many years.”

While they were talking, a man with a stooped back and extremely long legs appeared; he came up close and said to the small boy.

“You must be Christopher, “The buck of the prairies” I believe they call you back home. I would like to see you run over to that goal and back to see how good you are”.

“Done!”, answered the little one.

Without batting an eyelid, Diego took off leaving a cloud of dust behind him and as he is so small he was lost in the distance and returned in less than a minute; in addition, so that there would be no doubt that he had arrived where they sent him, he brought back a towel forgotten by some goalkeeper who used it to dry his gloves during the games.

“You certainly do run,” said the coach. “That is Iker’s towel. And who knows, he may just come looking for it.”

The Real Madrid goalkeeper confirmed that he was looking for his towel and smiling, asked:

“What does the little boy want?” “Does he want me to sign an autograph?”

“No,” said the coach, “ he wants to make you some goals.”

Iker looked at the coach jokingly, but without commenting he walked over to the south goal. The man in charge of equipment placed five balls near the penalty point and Christopher, without stopping to take a breath, fired like a machine gun scoring two goals, one in each top corner, another two in the lower left and right angles, and still another in the center of the goal leaving Iker squatting on the ground, hands covering his face, staring wide-eyed at the little boy.

“Now let Cristiano shoot at me,” said Christopher while he occupied the goal with determination and no one dared argue with him. Cristiano kicked the five balls trying to make the same goals as Christopher but Christopher, as if he were a puma with wings , leaped into the air capturing each ball with elegance and security.

“You have really impressed us, Christopher,” said the coach.

“Tomorrow you will surely play some minutes against Barcelona.”

The following day the newspapers displayed surprising headlines, such as, A short American arrives to play against Barça… It is not Donovan, he is even better… The Real Madrid has a player who will challenge The Little Flea Messi II…and other similar headlines.

The game was going to be played in the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium and it was absolutely jam packed. The loudspeakers animated the crowd with songs which the players had chosen. It was a friendly match and each team would play with its youngest players, however they would be reinforced with two star players, one from the Miami Barça and another northamerican for the Real Madrid whenever the coaches thought it convenient, for that reason neither Messi IIº nor Christopher played from the beginning.

The contest progressed with little interest because both teams studied each other for quite a while and, finally, they dedicated themselves to destroying the tactics of the other team until, mid way through the first half, The Little Flea Messi IIº appeared on the field. The lad ran, as was his custom, and in a flash he made an extraordinary goal flitting about the legs of the Madrid forward and kicking the ball with his heel towards the left angle of the goal.

The game now continued in a spectacular give and take, but a little boy that looked a lot like Pujol didn’t let a single ball enter the Barcelona area and as a result the Madrid forwards were unable to put together a goal strategy no matter how hard they tried.

Well into the second half Pujol was replaced and the coach of the Madrid team told Christopher to get ready to play. When the fourth referee allowed him to enter, he leaped like a hare and three of his sudden attacks, dodging legs and dribbling players, ended in shoots near the other team’s goal posts. Near the end of the game he saw that a gigantic player who was called Quiqué II by his fellow players was open and ready to stop his swift attack.

In an incredible manner, Christopher slipped between his legs, dribbled three opponents and in front of the last defender he turned his back to the goal, kicked the ball over his opponent and himself, advanced around his opponent and catching the ball before it hit the ground, he launched a fantastic shot which squeezed through the right corner of the goal. The Madrid fans, delighted, celebrated the goal in a deafening outburst; however, it was Ricardo, Christopher’s father, who shouted the loudest. The match was tied minutes before the end of the game.

When Christopher awoke, he saw the Real Madrid uniform on the back of a nearby chair and when his parents came into the bedroom he told them raising his fists in the air:

“Mommy! Daddy! I tied the Real Madrid against Barcelona!”
“I saw you, son! I was at the game, too!”, answered his father euphorically.


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