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The Cry of La Llorona

Llorona-This is what they would call you today and it was what we called those persons who were easy to cry. I mean you look at them and just say: “You will cry right now,” and you would see tears running down their cheeks. Of course if it was a boy you call him “Lloron”. There were boys who cried if they lost a marble game, and a girl who would cry if you simply tell her that she is not allowed to take part in the game. And then when you saw them coming down the street, everyone would say: “Alli viene la llorona.” (There comes the cry baby.)

But then there was “La llorona” (weeping woman) whom every child in the village was afraid of. It is a sad story and scary at the same time, but it lives strong in the memories of the people, and there are many who swear that it is true. A long time ago in San Pedro, there lived this beautiful girl named Maria. Some say she was the most beautiful woman in the world, but she had one problem. She thought she was better than everyone else and rejected every man that proposed to her. She was determined to marry the most handsome man in the world too. And finally one day she met this “ranchero”, the son of a wealthy rancher who was handsome, wealthy, had a wonderful voice, and could play the guitar like nobody else. (sort of like Dennis Wolfe and Dale Wallace or Tim Bud). Soon they got married and they had two children.

There are many versions to the story. One- They seemed like a happy family until Maria caught him fooling around with another girl, one as wealthy as he was. When this happened, Maria was filled with rage and it all turned against her children. It is sad to tell, but the story is that in her anger, Maria threw her two children in the river.

Two – Her husband showed more love and affection for their two children than he did for her so she threw her little children in the river in a fit of jealousy. As they disappeared down the river, she realized her mistake and ran down the bank to try to save them, but it was too late. The next day the villagers of San Pedro found the body of the beautiful woman lying dead under a tree.

The first night that Maria was in her grave the villagers heard the sound of crying down the river. It was not the wind; it was La Llorona crying: “Where are my children?” And they saw this woman dressed in a long white robe, the way they had dressed Maria for her burial. On windy nights or very dark nights, the villagers had sightings of La Llorona, the weeping woman. And by that name she is known to this day. Children are warned not to go out in the dark for La Llorona might snatch them, taking them for her children and never return them.

*** Read Twenty Five Years Ago next week for an account of a child who was stolen by la Llorona and lived to tell the story.

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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