The first section is an Instruction Manual, offering precise and sometimes far-fetched instructions on a number of unlikely subjects -- "How to Comb the Hair", "How to Cry", "How to Wind a Watch" instructions that come with their own preamble , and "How to Kill Ants in Rome". Varied and short, one would not mind more of these instructions. The second section offers descriptions of Unusual Occupations. It begins: "We are an unusual family," and proceeds to explain why in various descriptive sections. A cohesive but out of the ordinary collective the narrator generally writing in the first person plural this group does manage some remarkable things. There are only eight vignettes, but they are all very strong, touching also on the political, philosophical, and literary.
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Julio, your Cronopios are driving me crazy! Sing one singe note, listen to it from inside. I start delivering my speech. I try speaking louder. No luck. I try speaking slower. Once again, not a single word is being understood. I resort to simply moving my lips. The audience sits up and begins to understand.
I stop moving my lips and start waving my arms. Everyone nods their head in approval. I stop waving my arms and simply stand there. I receive a round of applause. I remove my eyes, nose and mouth and tuck them in my pants pocket.
The audience moves toward the podium — I can hear them — and each member takes a turn embracing me. I wiggle my ears as a way of saying thank you. Here the cronopio pauses for to go into the street, he needed the key to the door. I turned my head, my only me, and saw one of my arms, the left one, I think, on the bureau and my scrotum hanging on my clothes-tree. I turned my head the other way. My toes rested like ten pale Brazil nuts on the windowsill, the cheeks of my buttocks on the floor, a calf and knee poking out of the pants I threw over a chair last night.
I looked up at the ceiling. More of the same: my neck, another leg, thumbs, and, yes, my penis, all dangle from the light cord. I open my bedroom door and the rooms of my house and the rest of the neighborhood are scattered on a wide, grassy plain. The patient leaves, somewhat surprised, but he buys the bouquet and is instantly cured. Bursting with gratitude, he returns to the cronopio and not only plays him but, as a delicate testimonial, he presents him with the gift of a handsome bouquet of roses.
In the recovery room, its time to strike up the band. Breakfast sounds like John Philip Sousa. Nurses wave flags, visitors toss confetti and the patient in the bed by the wall, who has been bedridden for over a month, gets up and starts marching around the room. The famas know it, and make fun of it. The largest frogs he flies with a piece of cloth tied to one frog leg and string to the other. For the smaller ones, he uses four pieces of balsa wood to stick two frogs together to make a box kite.
By passing gas, however, the frogs eventually run out of helium and glide back to earth slowly, trying to avoid tires of trucks and beaks of storks — and Billy, that naughty boy with his pathological knack for constructing frog kites.
historias de cronopios y de famas
Are you a Cronopio, a Fama or an Esperanza..?
Cronopios and Famas