Aug 12, 2011

Love and Roast Chicken

Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains

Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains by Barbara Knutson

     Cuy is a guinea pig that lives in the Andes Mountains.  One day, while looking for grass to eat, Tio Antonio the Fox surprised him.  Cuy was looking for grass under a rock and he didn't have time to run away from the fox, but he quickly came up with a plan and told the fox to hold the rock to help him keep the sky from falling. After holding the rock all day, fox was exhausted and had to let go of it, and when nothing happened he knew he had been tricked by Cuy.  On a different occasion, Fox found Cuy inside a cave, and this time the guinea pig made him believe the world was ending and that the fox could save himself if he stayed inside the cave.  Fox could see the flames outside the cave and thought Cuy had saved his life, until the next morning he realized the flames where from a fire Cuy had made to cook himself some dinner.  Furious after being tricked again, Fox swore he would eat Cuy on the spot next time.  But Cuy had other plans, he passed himself off as a farmer and worked the fields all day (and ate the alfalfa from the farm at night).  The farmer who had hired Cuy, realized that someone was stealing the alfalfa, and set a trap to catch the thief.  The trap was a little doll, the size of Cuy, made out of clay and covered with sticky sap.  Cuy fell for it and touched it, getting stuck immediately. When the farmer found him there, he took Cuy and tied him up to a tree, and that's where Fox found him.   Once more, Cuy tricked the Fox with a tale of the farmers daughter, Florinda, wanting to marry him but he wouldn't do it because whoever married her would have to eat chicken every night and he was a vegetarian.  Dreaming of nightly chicken dinners, Fox released Cuy and took his place tied to the tree...that's where the farmer found him.
     Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains is a very entertaining tale of a clever guinea pig who uses his smarts to get him out of dangerous situations, always at the expense of the fox.  I really enjoyed the ending, when the farmer finds the fox and surprisingly enough, instead of killing the fox, he laughs hysterically when the fox tells him he'll marry his daughter, giving the fox just enough time to chew through the ropes and escape...swearing to never go near Cuy the Guinea Pig again.

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