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The Running Trees

The story last week of the giant lobster tail might have remained only a tale of San Pedro, but this next one told by the same don Anselmo Marin San Pedro’s best storyteller in the 1950’s might be too large a potato for the frying pan. Here it is from his own mouth as he recounted it over and over at the barber shop.

On Anselmo went hunting one day for whatever he could encounter- deer, wild pigs, crocodile, loggerhead turtle on the beach or turtle eggs. He sailed his little 14-foot dory to the area of Berce Yones, up north in the Rocky Point area. Actually the name of the area is still Basil Jones, named after its owner, but in time Sanpedranos changed the pronunciation of the place to Berce Yones. After hauling the dory up the beach so that the high tide would not carry it away, don Anselmo first put on his apargatas (sandals made of the rubber of tires and string) and took hold of his 16 gauge shotgun. He penetrated into the bush some three miles deep following a rugged footpath towards an area known as la Savannah. (flat grassy area with fresh water) Don Anselmo fired one shot at a group of wild turkeys, and another one at a “poleo” (raccoon). “I think I missed” said don Anselmo “because I normally find them dead in a pool of blood.” The savannah was a popular spot for hunting deer because they came there to feed and drink some fresh water too. Soon he saw a fifty pound deer and fired a shot but missed his target. The animal jumped in the air and fled like lightning.

Now the moment every diver dreamed of. There in the middle of the savannah stood bold and tall a brown and white deer, its antelopes stuck up in the air like branches of a tree with leaves. It must have been about12 feet long and about 5 feet tall. The thought of a horse crossed his mind but as he put his hands into his shirt’s pocket he noted he did not have any more cartridges. Desperately don Anselmo looked around the ground and found the expended shell of his last shot. He picked it up, found some small seeds from a palm tree and packed up the empty shell. He placed the shot into his shotgun, grinned like a fool, raised his rusty shotgun still smoking from the last shot, pressed the trigger and fired. Miraculously there was a bang and he felt the powerful impact on his shoulders, so he knew his gun had fired. Close by he saw the huge deer leap ten feet in the air, landed and disappeared into the dense bush. Bravo! A hit but no game! Don Anselmo reluctantly headed towards the beach for he had nothing else to do.

Six months later don Anselmo returned to the same spot as a good sport. And what did he see? He saw a bunch of palm trees moving around the savannah. He cleared his eyes and looked carefully. He could not believe that it was the same deer that he had shot at some time ago. The seeds of the palm tree had germinated on the deer’s back and had now grown to about four feet tall. “No lie,” said don Anselmo. “If someone had told me I would have said he was crazy, but I shot the animal and I saw the deer moving about with the trees on its back.” Twenty Five Years Ago will continue this story. Don’t miss it. But for today from me to you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will eat the deer meat after Christmas. No lie!

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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