Clive PiG – aka Mister Storyfella – is a globetrotting storyteller, poet, songster and potato juggler. This travelling talesman, peddlar of poetry and thoroughly modern troubadour will be telling tall tales and silly songs to warm the heart through the winter months.
Running time: 45m.
Suitable for ages 4+
I asked tour manager Blas to ask Francisco if there are any good stories to be found in Querataro. There are many, was the reply. We parked up by the station and here are the basic versions recounted.
Tale 1 Claudia Mijangos
There was a woman who began to hear voices in her head. She became estranged from her husband and killed her three children with a knife. She disembowelled them and plastered their innards all over the walls. After this she was put into an asylum where she fell in love with a doctor. They eloped to the USA and lived happily ever after.
The now deserted house is next to a kindergarten and soon after the murders children in the playground noticed that every so often balls they were playing with would begin to roll away from them towards the garden. On many occasions the young children ran after the balls and the door of the house would open and the two boys and girl who had died would ask the kindergarten kids if they’d like to come inside and play.
Subsequently a wall has been built between the school and the house.
Click the link below for a more thorough and factual account of this awful event:
Variations of this are amongst the most common ghost tales in South America and elsewhere.
Two young men driving along the highway stop to pick up a pretty hitchhiker. They drop her at her home afterwards find she’s left a scarf behind in the car. The next day they return to the house. The door is opened by an old woman who tells them it is her daughter’s scarf but that she died thirty years ago. She reappears each anniversary of her death.
Tale 3 The Rich Man & The Nun
Many years ago a marquis, the richest man in Querataro, fell in love with a nun. She was in love with the Lord. She asked her besotted admirer to build a house of love for them where they could live together in spirit, if not in the flesh. In order to supply the house with fresh water he also constructed a mile long aqueduct which today also provides water to the many fountains in the old colonial town.
Marigolds aka Cempasuchil or, in the Nahuatl language – Cempazuchtli , are the symbolic flowers for the Days of the Dead celebrations here in Mexico. The scent and colour of these vibrant flowers guide the spirits of departed ones towards an altar the families have prepared with offerings of favourite foods, drinks, photos and possessions of the departed.
This lovely story about how marigolds came to be is a favourite of many of the students I’ve been telling tales too. I share stories with them and in turn they share with me.
The Legend of the Cempasuchil – The Day of the Dead flower
This Mexican legend recounts the love story of two young Aztecs, Xóchitl and Huitzilin, a romance from which the cempasuchil flower was born.
It began when the two young Aztecs were still little. They used to spend all their time playing and as they became teenagers they explored Tenochtitlan, the great city on the lake.
They particularly enjoyed hiking to the top of a near mountain where they would offer flowers to the Sun god Tonatiuh. The god seemed to appreciate their offering and would smile from the sky with his warm rays. On a particularly beautiful day at the top of the mountain, they swore that their love would last for ever.
When war broke out the lovers were separated as Huitzilin went to fight and protect their homeland.
Soon the dreaded news of Huitzilin’s death reached Xóchitl. She felt her world falling to pieces, her heart completely torn.
She decided to walk one last time to the top of the mountain and implore the sun god Tonatiuh, to somehow join her with her love Huitzilin. The sun moved by her prayers threw a ray that gently touched the young girl’s cheek. Instantly she turned into a beautiful flower of fiery colours as intense as the sun’s rays.
Suddenly a hummingbird lovingly touched the centre of the flower with its beak.
It was Huitzilin reborn as a handsome hummingbird. The flower gently opened its 20 petals, filling the air with a mysterious and lovely scent.
The lovers would be always together as long as cempasuchil flowers and hummingbirds existed on earth.
So there we are, Blas and I, halfway through the DreamOn Productions Mexican Tour 2018 when we realise we’re staying a hop, skip and a jump from where Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg hung out in the 1950s.
Kerouac spent much time mooching in this plaza and Burroughs lived for a while in one of the apartments below.
William Burroughs was no William Tell.
In an apartment at Monterrey 122 on the corner of Chihuahua Street, Burroughs killed his wife in 1951. He told her to put a whiskey glass on her head and instead of hitting the target he shot her through the forehead. By hook and by crook he received a suspended sentence. I am stupefied that Burrough’s got away with this and that so few people then and now condemn this act
On a clear day, the towering white peaks of the legendary Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes can be seen from the great metropolis of Mexico City. Rising beyond 17,000 feet in elevation, these two majestic mountains offer the viewer a breathtaking sight. Snowcapped year round, the well-known landmarks have captured people’s imaginations throughout the ages. Located just 45 miles southeast of the nation’s capital, Popo and Izta, as many affectionately call these two volcanoes, share a story that reaches back into the mists of time.
Geographically, these two glacier-iced volcanoes represent the second and third highest mountains in Mexico. The name Iztaccihuatl in the indigenous Nahuatl language means “White Woman” and the mountain actually includes four peaks, the tallest of which reaches 17,158 feet. Many see her silhouette as resembling that of a sleeping woman, complete with head, chest, knees and feet. Iztaccihuatl is an extinct volcano and is a popular destination for adventurous mountaineers and hikers.
Popocatepetl is the taller of the two mountains, reaching an incredible 17,802 feet in height. Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl are connected by a high mountain pass known as the Paso de Cortes. Popocatepetl is still active with the volcano having spewed smoke and ash as recently as 2001. In the Nauhuatl language Popocatepetl means “Smoking Mountain” and as we shall soon see, was aptly named.
In Aztec mythology, the volcanoes were once humans who were deeply in love. This legend features two star-crossed lovers, the young brave warrior Popocatepetl and the beautiful princess Iztaccihuatl. The father of Iztaccihuatl, a mighty ruler, placed a demanding condition upon Popocatepetl before he could take Iztaccihuatl as his bride. His mandate required that Popocatepetl first engage in battle against the tribe’s enemy and return victorious. Variations of the legend include the added stipulation that Popocatepetl needed to return with the vanquished enemy’s head as proof of his success,
The story continues with Popocatepetl setting off for battle with Iztaccihuatl waiting for her beloved’s return. Treacherously, a rival of Popocatepetl’s sends a false message back to the ruler that the warrior has been slain when in fact, Popocatepetl has won the battle and is ready to return to his Iztaccihuatl. However, the princess upon hearing the false news, falls ill and succumbs to her deep sorrow, dying of a broken heart. When Popocatepetl returns triumphant to his people only to encounter his beloved’s death, his heartbreak is inconsolable.
He carries Iztaccihuatl’s body to the mountains whereupon he has a funeral pyre built for both himself and his princess. Grief-stricken beyond measure, Popocatepetl dies next to his beloved. The Gods, touched by the lover’s plight, turn the humans into mountains, so that they may finally be together. They remain so to this day with Popocatepetl residing over his princess Iztaccihuatl, while she lay asleep. On occasion, Popo will spew ash, reminding those watching that he is always in attendance, that he will never leave the side of his beloved Izta
Following last year’s storytelling tour of Argentina and Peru, have just embarked on a month of adventure in Mexico courtesy of DreamOn Productions http://dreamonproductions.com
Looking forward to picking up some new tales along the way with tour manager Blas Donosa, and also to picking up more local detail to some the stories I already know from this part of the world. For example, I’m keen to add more detail to the legend of the great warrior Popacatapetl and his lover Iztaccihuatl. (Correct prononciation of these two tongue twisters will be a bonus too.) Will be visiting the world’s largest pyramid today at Cholula and when I stand at the top hoping to get a great view of these two volcanoes.