Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"How the Devil Lost His Poncho." Ricardo Palma.

One-minute review: When the Good Lord and his disciples visited the desert town of Ica, all was peaceful. No strife could be found anywhere in the town. All this because of the spirit of Christ. But the time came when Christ was summoned to return to Jerusalem.

The Devil, envious of Christ, disguised himself as Christ and visited the town and, of course, all hell broke loose. He was wearing a poncho.

At the time of the Devil’s visit, a bride was being married. With the Devil’s blessing, guests flung insults at her in the spirit of the Devil, and women flirted with the handsome groom. The bride accosted the disguised Devil, discovered his joy in the chaos at her wedding, and made the sign of the cross. Naturally, at that sign, the Devil beat a hasty retreat, but the bride clung to his poncho and ripped it from him as he exited. She has it still and occasionally the Devil, returns to try to retrieve it. And that sets the liquor to flowing again.

75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World’s Literature.
Ed. Roger B. Goodman. New York: Bantam Books. 1961. These summaries do not do justice to the vividness of the stories. RayS.

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