Christopher's bilingual stories
“Do you want to play Nascar (The Game) 2011 on my Wii. It was just given to me.”
IN THE HOUSE ON THE HILL
Para nuestro nieto Christopher Diego en su 6º cumpleaños.
English translation by his grandmother Betty Jean Curtis Inselmann
It must have been the chocolate milk that he drank before going to bed; the point is that Christopher fell sound asleep. It was a clear night with such a brilliant moon that you could follow the lively and unexpected flight of the fireflies and, following them was when Christopher perceived that they were guiding him towards a grass lawn bathed in radiant sunlight, similar to the one behind his house, if indeed it was not the same one. Then he began to scamper around as if he were holding the handlebars of a motorcycle in his hands and, as he was running around in endless circles, he saw Donald approaching, the oldest son of the new neighbors who lived in the house on the hill above his house.
Donald was a tall, slim boy with deep blue eyes and hair which was almost white it was so blond. When he reached Christopher, he asked:
“Do you want to play Nascar (The Game) 2011 on my Wii. It was just given to me.”
“Yeeeees!”, answered Christopher elated.
“OK, let's go to my house”.
They climbed toward the house on the hill rather quickly. To enter, they slid open the French doors and pushed aside the curtains that sheltered the entrance to the living room from the outside world and, after halting for a moment in front of a spacious square cage sitting on a shelf – the home of a parakeet who was eating something that looked like a wild strawberry or a piece of watermelon - , they walked towards the stairs that led to the upper floor, and entered Donald´s bedroom.
“Listsen, don't you have a brother?”, asked Christopher. “Why doesn't he come and play with us?”
“Edward doesn't want to play with me because I always beat him. I imagine he is with grandfather Jeremy, although lately grandfather spends most of his time with Mister, the parakeet you just met.”
“Oh, so he belongs to your grandfather? But Mister was alone in the living room.”
“He's not well; didn't you notice?”
It didn't take long to start up the Nascar and play tracks, playing against each other or pretending to be like the pilots Tony Stewart, Matt Kenneth or Jeff Burton. They shared the victories until, after competing for quite a long time, Christopher, less enthusiastic than at first, tired and commented that it was getting late and he should go back home. Donald continued absorbed in the game trying to become familiar with its winning points and exploring its difficulties.
Going down stairs Christopher bumped into Donald's brother. Edward looked like an ugly duckling walking around in slippers. Actually, he was a small, chubby boy who wore very thick glasses and scratched his left ear as he spoke, doing so in a flustered and confused manner showing insecurity.
“I waanted to aask you...” and he stopped; Christopher thought that his presence had upset him and to reassure him, he said:
“Well...if yoou are a deeetec...tive.”
“The detective is my dad, not me”, answered Christopher.
“Buut... do you know ...soomething about that?”
“Yeah, I know something, of course”, responded Christopher proudly.
“Well, youuu see, I don´t know...how to say it. You haven´t... coome to inveestigate, have you?”
“Me? I came to play with your brother.”
The previous question surprised Christopher who in turn inquired,
“Is there something that I should investigate?” And with the greatest self confidence in the world, added, “because it's a breeze for me; I know a lot about investigating.”
Edward was confused, as if he were not expecting the answer. He looked down, played with his fingers and it wasn't long before he said:
“Weren't yooou going?”
Christopher, bewildered, replied immediately.
“Are you kicking me out?”
Christopher didn't wait for the answer. He headed for the living room looking for the French doors, but a muted murmur from Mister attracted his attention. It was true that he was ill; he seemed very low, his feathers were ruffled, his eyes were half closed and he was suffering from diarrhea. He was absorbed in this observation when he was startled by the sound of someone approaching; he hid behind the curtains that covered the glass door, although near a gap which allowed him to observe without being seen.
It was Donald´s mother. She wore a colorful scarf tied around her head and sported a small feather duster tucked in the waistband of her dress. She had an exhuberant personality; she greeted Mister with little shouts, wished him a quick recovery and tried to imitate what she thought might be his chriping. Then she checked to see if there was birdfood in the feeder and water in the water dish and walked away, up the Nascar and play up the Nascar tranquility
But he did not have time to leave the house. Aunt Ruth entered the living room followed by a Siamese cat whose hair stood on edge every time it looked at Mister or when it came near the curtains smelling Chritopher's presence. But Aune Ruth was only interested in the parakeet showing that she had very little sympathy for him. She called him everything, shouting that she was fed up with cleaning his cage, while the bird, whose eyes had changed from half-closed to sheer terror, scrambled to the top bars of the cage or jumped frenetically from one to another, specially when the pussy cat cleaned its whiskers with its left paw and looked at him greedily and meowed. When Aunt Ruth found what she was looking for in the living room, she dedicated several more insults at him and a Goodbye, bandit! in parting, and she withdrew with her cat, much to Christopher´s relief.
Christopher thought that he could come out of hiding now, when grandfather Jeremy entered with weary steps. Gently, he began to scrape the bars of the cage with a pencil whispering to Mister something like “Why are you doing so poorly? “. The bird swelled up his feathers even more and his eyes turned sad while grandfather Jeremy moved his head sadly and then said goodbye.
Christopher was just about to leave when another person appeared except that this time he was interested. He saw little Edward enter the living room. He noticed that he went up to the cage very cautiously and in a secretive manner, placed something small, round and red between the bars of the cage, which Christopher, after straining considerably, assumed was a holly berry. At that moment he came out of his hiding place and asked Edward:
“Listen, what are you giving the paraket? If it is a holly berry you will poison him slowly”. The little boy trembled upon being caught and responded nervously:
“Are you feeding the parakeet what I just said?”, insisted Christopher.
Edward's nervousness increased, his face turned sorrowful and tears filled his eyes. He pouted as he said:
“Doon't give me away...Come...with mee,... pleease.”
They went to the garage of the house and there Edward began to cry openly. Sobbing and choking on his anguished tears he confessed:
“It's because I am jeealous of Mister. Before… grandfather neever left me alone...hee toook care of me, played with me and...hee told me stoories...both during the day and when I weent to beed, buut...now...all of his attention...goes to Mister...he almost never plays with me...and now I don't knooow if he loves mee anymore.”
“But you know that older people spend quite a lot of time with us but they also have to spend time with the other people and animals that live in the house, specially if they belong to them; but to assume that grandfather Jeremy no longer loves you, that's crazy!”
“Yes, I knoow, buut..I am sad becaause...I can't get used to the change.“
Christopher felt sorry for the little boy and suggested:
“Look, we are going to get Mister and take him to the house of Mr Trumpeter who is a veterinarian and surely he will cure him. When he is healthy you will see that your grandfather is very happy and he will tell you stories again, at least at night.”
The following morning Christopher woke up and asked his mother if he had a friend whose name was Donald and his mother said “no”, that if she wasn't mistaken, Donald was one of the main characters in a story that his grandfather Javier had written for him.
“And Edward? Do I know a boy whose name is Edward?”
And his mother responded: “It seems to me that you invented that little boy.”