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Bless Me, Ultima

       Bless Me, Ultima is a story written by Rudolfo Anaya. He was born in Pastura, New Mexico, in 1937. This story was about Antonio, a boy who was seven years old. Antonio had two sisters, Theresa and Deborah, and three brothers; the brothers were at war. Antonioís sisters spoke or tried to speak in English. Sometimes ,Antonio didnít understand what his sisters were saying, but after he went to school, he learned to speak English. Antonioís mother, after she gave birth to him, persuaded her husband Gabriel to move to the town of Guadalupe where they could have more opportunities for them and their children. Gabriel, Antonioís father, was a vaquero (cowboy). He sold his herd, but he didnít want to sell his horse. Gabriel gave the horse to his best friend Benito Campos, but Campos couldnít keep the horse because the horse was accustomed to Gabriel, and there was no vaquero who could ride the horse. Antonio had a friend named Jason. Jason had a friend who was an Indian boy; this boy lived near the river. Jasonís father beat Jason because he wanted keep Jason away from the Indian. Antonioís mother wanted a garden, so, to make her happy, Antonio worked every day in the garden where he grew a few chiles and tomato plants. Antonio had many dreams. One of his dreams was where he felt he was flying over the llanos (hills), and it was dark. He recognized the town of Las Pasturas. He felt happy, and he witnessed the birth of a baby. He couldnít recognize the motherís face, but he saw an old woman in black who tended the birth. This old woman bit the umbilical cord; she wrapped the baby, and put him on his motherís side. People who were waiting in the dark talked to the mother, and left gifts for the baby. One of these people rubbed the babyís forehead, and named the baby Luna. This person said that this Luna probably will be a farmer who will keep the traditions and customs, or perhaps he will be a priest. These people surrounded the bed with fruits, and left the room with a smell like fresh green chile and corn. After this dream, Antonio woke up. The situation in the llanos was very difficult. Many people left town to survive or find a better job, perhaps in California. In the llanos lived an old woman. Her name was Ultima, a curandera (healing woman). She helped Antonioís mother on many occasions, and attended her when she gave birth to all her others. Antonioís parents decided to bring Ultima to come and live with them because Ultima didnít have anybody to look after her. Antonio met Ultima; he realized that she was the woman in his dream. Years later, when Ultima passed away, and Antonio was a man, he had a dream where Ultima was an owl. He thought it was Ultima because he had heard in many cuentos (fairy tales) that an owl was one of the disguises a bruja (witch) took. Antonio felt happy about this dream.