Wednesday, 27 February 2008
By Lia of the Yum Yum Café blog
When I was a wee thing in Venezuela, I was told stories about ghosts, witches, and bogymen*. There was, actually, a bogyman living under my bed. My bogyman was nocturnal (well, aren’t they all) and lay in wait in case I got out of bed at night. If I did leave my bed, he would reach out and grab me by my ankle and pull me under the bed.
I never was told what would happen under the bed, but my four-year-old imagination was vivid enough to know that I really didn’t want to know.
Other than pulling me under my bed if I wandered in the night, my bogyman was a rather placid being. And I had this trick to knock him out for the night. I would turn off my light, run across the room, and then leap heavily into my bed, and bounce on the bed three times. This ritual never failed to put the bogyman “to sleep” for the night.
* Adults told me these stories and not, as some friends assumed, mean-minded siblings. It was a cultural thing. This might be something a few of you will find hard to believe. Yet, I caught a Brazilian friend of mine warning her young son not to go down into the underground garage at their apartment complex because a horrible witched lived down there. When I confronted her with the inadvisability of telling her son this, she said she preferred to talk about the evil of witches and ghosts, rather then warning her young son about possible encounters with people with evil intent. I’m not saying I agreed with her, but my friend’s explanation did give me another perspective on why I was raised with ghosts, witches, and bogymen.