Short Stories

Kings Night

Elena Fortún

I woke up startled and heard a noise, as if a cat were scratching the porch wood. The wise men!

The moon came in through the cracks in the window and the cold too…

I would have gladly got up to see what was happening but… I was so afraid! I covered my head and began to pray.

My dear Baby Jesus,

You are little like me…

Suddenly there was a fart !, fart !, fart !, a terrible noise of things falling on the porch… and I find myself in a nightgown in front of a black gentleman with a crown on his head sitting on the porch railing [19459002 ]

– God save you, Celia! – Tell me.

“God save you, too, Black King, because if not, you will still fall into the street.”

– I can’t fall because I have no weight.

– Good! Then you can fly.

– For sure! Now see.

And catching the ends of the white cloak she was wearing, she went flying over the street.

– Hey! Hey! Hey! Black king! Do not go away!

– I’m here! What do you want, Celia?

“That you will not leave without leaving me the toys I asked you in the letter I sent you.”

– Don’t you see them?

What a fool! The porch was littered with boxes and I hadn’t realized it yet.

– Did you bring me the kitchen?

– Yes. Two kitchens.

– And the lamb?

– A lamb and a goat.

– And the teddy bear?

– Too.

– What about the crockery?

– The dishes, and a clock, and books, and puzzles, and a racket…

– Ah! Glad you are! And now that I notice better … you remind me of Aunt Julita’s employee.

– Sure! It’s my brother!

– Good! If I had known this before, I would have given him the letter to give it to him and so I had brought more things…

“Do you look like the few I brought you?”

– Not! Not! Not a few! But I would have told you not to forget Solita, the porter’s daughter.

– I never forget.

“Look, you didn’t bring him anything last year.”

– I did, but you got everything for yourself…

– Heavens! What a liar!

– Girl! Is this how you talk to a saint?

– Oh, Black King! Forgive me, but I don’t know how to tell you that you’re not telling the truth…

– Yes, I’m telling you the truth. Don’t you think everything that brought you by God’s command is too much for you?

– I don’t know …

“I only leave toys on the balconies of rich children, but this is for them to share with poor children. If I had to go to every children’s house at night, that would not be enough …

– Yes I understand. So should I share with Solita what you brought me?

– It is so. I can not stay longer. It’s starting to dawn and I still have a lot to do.

I don’t know where he went or when I went back to bed, because I fell asleep deeply and only woke up when daylight came into my room

I got up again (so it was cold), wrapped myself in the quilt and went to the balcony.

– Solita, Solita! – I screamed, because the Solita was already sweeping the entrance of the building – Look what the wise men brought us!

I untied the ribbons of all the packages and, with them, made a rope that reached to the street.

– Wait a minute, I’ll get you a little goat down – and sent it tightly tied to the end of the rope…

“And now some books …” that fell, but all hit the floor.

– And a box with a kitchen.

The Solita danced for joy!

Behind me I heard Papa’s voice:

– But, daughter! What are you doing?

– I’m sharing the toys.

– Come back inside creature because it is a terrible cold! It will be a miracle if you don’t get pneumonia! Already to bed!

What a scoundrel!

“But Papa, it was the Black King who told me to give Solita the toys because they are also for her.”

– We’ll see what your mother has to say about this. Wrap up well!

– Look Papa, the Black King explained everything to me …

– Say no more blunders! All of this has been dreamed, or you will find it somewhere.

– But no, daddy! It was nothing like that. Look, I’ll explain to you…

– Tell me nothing more! What did you give Solita?

– A little goat …

– God help me! An expensive toy! Do you come inside for the heat?

– Yes, yes, but I’m not cold anymore … See, Dad, I’ll tell you everything …

– Don’t you want to shut up, please? Girls don’t lie or think it’s true what they dream …

It was then that Joana appeared to make a wind.

– Sir, here is Peter the porter with some toys that says that …

“Good, good,” Papa interrupted. “Please tell her that it is for her daughter that I gave her …” 19459002]

– Oh, Dad, how good you are! I already knew!

“What you don’t know is the banze your mother will set up when she hears this.”

And already the footsteps of the mother … Ana Garralón The Great Book of Navidad Madrid: Anaya, 2003 Translation and Adaptation

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