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Canutito learns about 'los rabitos'

By Larry Torres
For The Taos News
Posted 6/14/18

Era una lazy afternoon as the family was driving back home por el camino. Suddenly a rabbit ran right across the road adelante del carro. Grampo Caralampio stepped en las brecas really hard in order …

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Canutito learns about 'los rabitos'

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Era una lazy afternoon as the family was driving back home por el camino. Suddenly a rabbit ran right across the road adelante del carro. Grampo Caralampio stepped en las brecas really hard in order to avoid al conejito. The brakes screeched bien recio. Canutito was relieved de ver al conejito hop away del carro unharmed.

"That was a close one," Canutito said. Y luego he asked: "¿Cómo se dice 'rabbit' en español, grama?"

"You have to start learning cómo hablar en Spanish this summer," Grama Cuca replied. "Now think: ¿cómo se dice 'rabbit' in Spanish, m'hijo?"

Canutito thought por un momento and then he said: "Well, almost todos los animales end con la letra 'O' in Spanish, so I think que un 'rabbit' es 'rabito'."

Grama Cuca smiled and said: "Ay, m'hijo, un 'rabito' no es un 'rabbit'; un 'rabito' es una 'little green onion'. Un 'little rabbit' en español es un 'conejito'."

Canutito repeated 'conejito'. Grama Cuca decided que este verano she was going to teach más cultura local to the little boy.

Toda la familia had just gotten back home después de la Fiesta de San Antonio over at the church. Everyone always went pa' la iglesia en ese día and received Holy Communion. Siendo que había sido such a hot day, all the family members entraron en la casa very thirsty but happy porque Saint Anthony era un santo muy poderoso.

Canutito went to the sink de una vez and poured himself un vaso lleno de agua. Before he was able to drink it though, Grama Cuca took the glass of water y le dijo: "When I was little, mi mamá taught us que right after we received la Santa Comunión we had to drink tres tragos de agua saying: 'en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo'."

"That's a cool tradition, grama," Canutito said, tomando tres gulps de agua and saying "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." Y luego he added, 'me gustan la cosas que vienen en threes."

"Did you know, m'hijo," Grampo Caralampio contributed, "que en un tiempo, before a man and a woman could get married, tenían que rodar tres veces?"

"Grampo," Canutito hesitated, "what do you mean que 'they had to roll three times'? Was it como rolling down a hill over and over and over again como yo?"

"Not quite, m'hijo," grampo replied. " 'Rodar' means que their intention to get married was announced tres veces for three weeks. They were called 'las bandas de martimonio' or the bands of marriage, just in case que alguien tuviera una oposición to them."

"Why would anyone oppose de que se casaran un hombre y una mujer, grampo?" Canutito asked. "I thought que a man and a woman were happy de casarse.

"I guess que los rodaban tres veces just in case que one of them was already married en otro lão o posiblemente que eran closely related como primos hermanos."

"Doesn't la espresión 'primo hermano' mean 'first brother', grampo?" Canutito asked.

"It does," grampo replied, "pero in Spanish 'primo hermano' means 'first cousin'."

"No es fácil living aquí en Northern New Mexico, is it, grampo?" Canutito asked. "There are so many things que tengo que aprender in order para vivir en Nuevo México. I think I'd rather live con los rabitos y los conejitos," he smiled…

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