Cousas, by Daniel A. Rodríguez Castelao

A rich man arrived from America and he brought with him a little black Cuban boy, just like someone would bring a monkey, a parrot, a gramophone...
  The black boy grew up in the village, where he learnt to speak like the villagers, to dance “muñeiras”, to make deafening celebratory shouts.
  One day the rich man died, and Panchito changed master in order to earn his crust. Over time he became a reliable lad, with no defects apart from his color...although he was as black as a pot, he was so charming that everyone loved him. Dressed up in his Sunday best, with a carnation behind his ear and a little branch of hollyhock in his jacket, he seemed like a local lad at the parties.
   One starry night, the idea of going out into the world to search for riches dawned on him. Panchito also felt the urge to emigrate, like all the lads in villages. And one very sad morning he climbed the gangway of an ocean liner.
   Panchito was on his way to Havana and from the stern, his damp and shining eyes gazed at the land he was leaving behind beyond the sea.
  In a road in Havana, Panchito the black man met a man from his village and he confessed, sobbing:
  “Oh, I can´t get used to the sun in this land: I can´t get used to these people. I shall die!»
   Panchito returned to the village. He arrived poor and weak; but he brought with him a full heart. He also brought a straw hat and a white suit...

This text by Castelao appeared in his book Cousas (Things), from 1926. Castelao was a man who combined a nurturing of literature with active politics, as well as with other artistic and intellectual facets. For example, he drew very well. What he wrote is an example of the great influence left on our generations by the cultivation of literature which enabled the Galician language to transcend private and family circles. The members of this generation are the founders of modern Galician prose.


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