| "Can I buy this app for my iPhone, mama?" my little girl asks as I enter the house. It was a long day, as any deadline was.
"It is only ninety-nine cents." she tries to entice me to buy.
I question again, for the empthieth time, the wisdom of buying an eleven year old an iPhone.
"It is a book mama, about a magic horse." The persistent headache and the word book convinces me to enter my password in the conveniently all-ready-for-mama phone.
I wear my apron while she skips away, her face glowing in anticipation.
"It says a Scottish knight brought home with him a gypsy witch. She had to flee her village because people were scared or envious of her powers." I hear from the living room.
"Uh… uhm..." I pretend to listen while delving into the freezer in search for the steak.
"The gypsy loved her knight and wove a spell around his horse so it would return to her when the knight was grievously injured. She could tend him and save his life."
"I'd need one of those when you fall off the bike." I wink at her and she ignores me, pretending full concentration over the iPhone screen. I know she feels sometimes smothered by my overprotectiveness.
"So she tied the horse to both the knight's and her own blood. But you see, the knight never married the gypsy because his father forced him to make an alliance and marry the daughter of a powerful lord."
"We don't always get what we want." I mutter while shuffling the pantry shelves in search for the instant mashed potatoes bags.
"She was so upset that in her madness, she changed the spell. His favorite horse would run and only come back when their joined blood would run through the same veins."
"Do you have homework for tomorrow?" I ask. I have been listening all day to stories about why one thing of another didn't get done and my head was pounding.
"Yes, mama." she answers with a disappointed pout. I feel guilty, so I compromise.
"Why don't you do your homework first, while I cook dinner, and then you tell me the rest of the story."
"Ok, mama." she responds with a dramatic sigh.
My guilt appeased, I proceed with the stake in my modern three way, energy-saving oven, while still mulling over the events of the day.
"Mama" I hear and I startle.
"My homework is about Ellis Island. People came here from all over the world." then she pauses and thinks for a while.
"Where did daddy come from?"
"Amarillo? Where grandma and grandpa live?"
"Grandpa said his great-great-great-great.......-great grandfather was almost caught after the battle of Culloden." she says losing the count of greats in her counting.
"Was he now?" I ask making a mental note to double-check the story with my mother-in-law.
"He said they lived up there where the Loch Ness monster lives. He also said he didn't go through the Ellis Island."
"Oh, it will not help you with your homework then." I try to give her the attention necessary to keep me from another bout of guilt. I burn my fingers in the process while trying to multitask and turn the stake in the oven at the same time.
"You didn't come through the Ellis Island either, mama." she grins and goes back to scribbling.
I didn't, but my grandmother did, to escape the Ustasa. My parents moved from town to town and so we never could claim a town as our own. This is a story still to be told and for now I am content she knows that grandma didn't come from Mexico but from Europe. With my olive skin and dark hair, I am still greeted in Spanish when I enter the bank.
"Done." my daughter declares as she stuffs the papers in her school bag and rushes to the couch, where she left her iPhone.
"Wow, mama, the witch was so upset that she messed up the spell. She made the horse immortal, and then she cursed it to forever roam the earth in search for the one to serve."
"And then she tried to fix the spell and gave it wings so it can fly above clouds. "
"Like the last minute patch we had to push today" I think as I gather the plates and the silverware.
"Did it work?" I ask, my question strangely related to the patch while I thumb in a hurry my smartphone as I look for possible error messages.
We hear a strong "neigh" behind the house and we both rush to the backdoor.
We never saw the horse as it left through the backyard gate, but we could swear we heard the flapping of wings. Nor anyone could ever explain the long strip of leather tied to the old tree that shaded our house.
© Copyright 2012 Aelyah (UN: aelyah at Writing.Com).
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