Cuys: A Tale of Magic-Realism

By | 23 September 2001

A man from the Andes moved to a New York
suburb and decided to raise guinea pigs,
built a cuyero house, similar to a thatched
kitchen in hut back home, his intention
was to have cuy meat available for special
occasions, summer barbecues, also because
the animals' noises, purrs and clicks, pleased
him, helped him stave off homesickness.
On warm days the man let the animals graze
in the garden; one afternoon he forgot
to feed them and the pigs wandered into the streets,
not able to find their way home,
and when the temperature dropped, they all died
of hypothermia. The man, unable to contain
his sadness, drank himself silly, lost in his second-
hand clothes, he moped about, aimless,
poor, his longing for home like the furry balls
that wandered into Manhattan's flower district
where a woman carrying groceries saw one,
a creature she swore looked like a giant rat.
She screamed and let go of her groceries,
a huge rat who stopped her to ask for directions.

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