Suliranin nag Kapaligiran
The hands of the blacks
I don’t remember now how we got on to the subject, but one day, Teacher said that the palms of the Blacks’ hands were much lighter than the rest of their bodies. This is because only a few centuries ago, they walked around with them like wild animals, so their palms weren’t exposed to the sun, which made the rest of their bodies darker. I thought of this when Father Christiano told us after catechism that we were absolutely hopeless, and that even the pygmies were better than us, and he went back to this thing about their hands being lighter, and said it was like that because they always went about with their hands folded together, praying in secret. I thought this was so funny, this thing of the Blacks’ hands being lighter, that you should just see me now. I do not let go of anyone, whoever they are, until they tell me why they think that the palms of the Blacks’ hands are lighter. Doña Dores, for instance, told me that God made Blacks’ hands lighter so they would not dirty the food they made for their masters, or anything else they were ordered to do that had to be kept clean.
Señor Antunes, the Coca-Cola man, who only comes to the village now and again when all the Cokes in the cantinas have been sold, said it was a lot of baloney. Of course, I do not know if it was really such, but he assured me, it was. After that I said, “All right, it was baloney,” and then he told me what he knew about this thing of the Blacks’ hands. It was like this: “Long ago, many years ago, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Peter, many other saints, all the angels that were in Heaven, and some of the people who had died and gone to Heaven—they all had a meeting and decided to create the Blacks. Do you know how? They got hold of some clay and pressed it into some second-hand molds and baked the clay of creatures, which they took from the heavenly kilns. Because they were in a hurry and there was no...
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