Toribio Tanguma related the following story to my mother Sanjuan Tanguma Lopez as well as her siblings. Toribio was my mothers uncle. This might have had happened during those frequent gatherings outside the jacales while gazing at the stars where story telling would ensue as a tradition of spending the evening, before bedtime would come.
The details of the story I am about to tell are as I remember them when the story was told to us, also during an evening after dinner while we also gazed at the stars contemplating God’s miracle.
There are brujas (witches) and they do exist, be wary of owls and animals out of the ordinary. A time back every night an owl would look at this jacal from that mesquite (Toribio pointed at the nearest tall tree) and it happened for three weeks in a row, then one time back while we were getting ready to fall asleep, the front door of the jacal (mud and hatch building) being open to catch the nights breeze, a small goat white in color came inside the jacal. I did not think much of it and thought that it must belong to one of the adjoining ranches we tied it inside the jacal from one of its front legs, as to keep it safe from coyotes or as of fear of it getting lost in the monte. We all fell asleep and early before dawn we were woken up by someone knocking on the front door. It was a man whose name I don’t recall but used to live in a nearby ranch. He came looking for help since his wife had come home without an arm and was bleeding badly. As the man was relating this he pointed to an arm on the floor that was tied with a rope to the wall of the jacal. I told him about the little white goat and the man’s fright could be seen on his face and he stated that this confirmed his suspicion that his wife was a witch. He rallied all the people of the nearby ranches by showing them the severed arm and we all together with him went to his home and dragged his wife out and we saw her burn in a pile of green mesquite wood. The place we burned her is in that near by field in the spot were the weeds don’t even grow. After that day we never saw the man again nor the owl ever stopped again on that mesquite (he pointed again to the tall tree).
If this story is true, only God knows. I doubt that this may ever be verified. The spot of the alleged burning is now covered by a huge cement tank to hold water.
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