This was quite an interesting story. There were three sections to the story which broke the story in three different times in one day. The characters were all very nonchalant except for the priest who showed some emotion when he found out that old Teofilo died. The story kept our interest, however, it did not lead a very clear trail to the end, and there was no real climax where we felt there was a good peak. The story needs to be read more than once to really be appreciated. Plot Summary
Teofilo is at the sheep camp in the arroyo when he rests in the shade under a cotton tree and dies. After Teofilo missing for a few days, Leon and Ken come looking for him and find that he "had been dead for a day or more, and the sheep had wandered and scattered up and down the arroyo." They gather the sheep and then come back to wrap Teofilo up in a red blanket. They paint his face with different colors and ask him to send them rain. On Leon and Ken's way back into pueblow (town) they see Father Paul, who asked if they found their missing grandfather yet, and they tell him where they found him, but not that he's dead. "Good Morning, father. We were just out to the sheep camp. Everything is o.k. now."
Louise and Teresa are waiting for them to get back with any news about Teofilo. Leon tells the girls that they found Teofilo died near "a cottonwood tree in the big arroyo near sheep camp." Leon and Ken carry in red blanket with teofilo's body, dress him in new clothes to be buried in. After a quiet lunch, Ken went to see when the gravediggers could have the grave ready, "I think it can be ready before dark." Neighbors and clans people come by their house to console Teofilo's family and leave food for the gravediggers. Three
After the funeral, Louise tells her brother Leon that she wants the priest to sprinkle "holy water for grandpa. So he won't be thirsty." Leon gets in the truck and goes down to the church to see if the priest is there. Leon asks the priest tobring his "holy water to the graveyard," and the priest tells him he could have "brought the last rights" if he had told him he was dead before. Leon tells him it wasn't necessary because they "just want him to have plenty of water" The priest tells Leon that he "can't do that, Leon. There should have been the last rights and a funeral mass at the very least," and then Leon politely starts to leave. Before Leon can leave the priest decides he'd do it for him anyway and goes to the graveyard with Leon. The priest sprinkles holy water on Teofilo and leaves. Then Leon finally feels "good because it was finished, and he was happy about the sprinkling of the holy water, now the old man could send them big thunderclouds for sure." Characters
Teofilo, an old sheepherder
Louise, his granddaughter, proper in her place, only talks to Her husband when he is alone
Ken, her husband, respectful of old ways, wishes to honor his Grandfather
Leon, Ken's brother-in-law
Father Paul, a Franciscan missionary, is unsure of is new
Parishners but would like to keep them happy
Teofilo, who was the elder of the clan, died while he was herding his sheep. Ken, who has Teofilo's grandson-in-law, went off with Leon his brother-in-law to find Teofilo. They prepare him for a proper Indian burial, passing buy Father Paul, who is a Franciscan missionary, and a Roman Catholic burial. Louise is Teofilo's granddaughter and after preparing food for lunch and the gravediggers speaks to her husband and asks that Father Paul put Holy water on Teofilo so he won't be thirsty. Father Paul tells Ken that Teofilo should have had last rights and a burial mass but decides to help anyway. Unbeknownst to him he is helping Teofilo to call for the rain by sprinkling the holy water on Teofilo. Structure
The structure of this story was that it was set up into three parts. The first...