Slow-Cooked Sentences

Hoops and hoppers

Rachael Conlin Levy

Because I recently shared my memories of gold earrings and small frogs, I thought I’d include their references in Luis Alberto Urrea’s “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.” The first involves Huila, the medicine woman, and Teresita, the Hummingbird’s daughter.

“Huila told Teresita to peirce her hears. Teresita was thrilled that Huila was interested in making her pretty. But Huila didn’t care if she was pretty or not. Huila told her: ‘You must pierce your ears to show God you are no longer deaf. You have not only been blind, but deaf. Punch holes in your ears to show God they are open, and you are ready to listen. God doesn’t care if you think you’re pretty!’ But she gave her two beautiful gold hoops to wear once she had done the ritual.”

Here is the reference to toads:

“In the summer, the rains came, and the magical event of toads bursting from the ground followed: toads started to shoot up from the soil, blinking their happy yellow eyes, excited by the first drumming of rain. Wildflowers were sure to follow. First toads, then flowers.”

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