Witches don’t exist

(Moacyr Scliar)
When I was a boy, I believed in witches, wicked women who spent all the time devising evil things. My friends also believed that. The proof for us was a very old woman, a spinster who lived in a little house falling apart at the end of our street. Her name was Ana Custódio, but we only called her “witch”.
It was very ugly, she; fat, huge, her hair looked like straw, her nose was long, she had a huge mole on her chin. And I was always talking to myself. We had never entered the house, but we were sure that if we did, we would find it preparing poisons in a large cauldron.
Our favorite fun was to bother her. Every now and then we invaded the small courtyard to steal fruit from there and when, by chance, the old woman went out into the street to shop in the small warehouse nearby, we ran after her shouting “witch, witch!”.
Generally, tales tell a make-believe story, featuring characters born in the author’s imagination.
One day, we found, in the middle of the street, a dead goat. We didn’t know who this animal belonged to, but we soon discovered what to do with it: throw it at the witch’s house. Which would be easy. Contrary to what always happened that morning, and perhaps out of oblivion, she had left the front window open.
Under the command of João Pedro, who was our leader, we lifted the animal, which was large and weighed a lot, and with great effort we took him to the window. We tried to push it in, but then the horns got caught in the curtain.

  • Come on, – shouted João Pedro, – before the witch appears. And she appeared. Just when we were finally able to introduce the goat through the window, the door opened and there she was, the witch, wielding a broomstick. Laughing, we ran out. I, chubby, was the last.
    And then it happened. Suddenly, I put my foot in a hole and fell. I immediately felt terrible pain in my leg and I had no doubt: it was broken. Groaning, I tried to get up, but I couldn’t. And the witch, walking with difficulty, but with a broomstick in hand, approached. At that point the class was far away, no one could help me. And the woman would undoubtedly vent her fury on me.
    In a moment, she was beside me, upset with anger. But then he saw my leg, and it instantly changed. He crouched down next to me and began to examine her with surprising skill.
    “It’s broken,” he said at last. – But we can fix it. Don’t worry, I know how to do that. I was a nurse for many years, I worked in the hospital. Trust me.
    He divided the broomstick into three pieces and with them, and with his cloth belt, improvised a splint, immobilizing my leg. The pain eased a lot and, supported by it, I went to my house. “Call an ambulance,” said the woman to my mother. He smiled.
    Everything was fine. They took me to the hospital, the doctor cast my leg and in a few weeks I was recovered. Since then, I have stopped believing in witches. And I became great friends with a lady who lived on my street, a very good lady called Ana Custódio.

Crossing is the English version of my book Travessia – Contos e Poemas, sold on HotMart, and can be purchased through two links:
Access. I buy. Spread the word.
José Araujo de Souza

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