Moons over Puluagua

“Sucedieron aquí cosas extrañas 1 ,” he says thoughtfully after tales about the haunted hacienda and the fire-breathing ghost bull. “Sí,” Patricio nods again to himself, perhaps remembering the story of the man with the stone shoes or the llama-like beast that lives here. We look across the valley together, the only cultivated volcano crater in the world, and I slack off momentarily on my translation duties, leaving the Dutch tourists and my travelling companion in the dark about the lions and tigers of Ecuador, the cob of corn that turned to gold, the king of the legendary village hidden inside the hill closest to where we are sitting.

A tiny change barely perceptible flashes in his eyes to cast out of him his current meditations and he gifts me another story: “Cosas extrañas, extrañas . One night, at midnight, we saw two moons playing together over those hills. They were dancing, rising and falling, up and down until one of the moons disappeared right into the hill and didn't come back up. When we looked the next day, we saw no openings, just solid rock! Where could the second moon have gone? Sí, sucedieron aquí cosas extrañas.”

1 strange things happened here

Kathryn Petruccelli