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The fruit wasn’t visible at all, and soon Tio Conejo’s mouth began to water as he thought of the huge fruit in heaven.

“Why don’t you play a song for me?” Tio Zopilote coaxed. “The trip will go faster that way.”

“Well, not now,” Tio Conejo said. “I’d prefer to hold onto your back.”

“Oh, I’ll fly carefully,” Tio Zopilote said, and so Tio Conejo reached for his guitar. Settling himself carefully on Tio Zopilote’s back, he began strumming a tune.

Tio Zopilote smiled wickedly, and suddenly began to fly in tight circles. Then he flew in a zigzag. He turned upside down and circled again. He flew as fast as he could. He did everything possible to make Tio Conejo fall off.

“Stop your crazy flying,” Tio Conejo cried. “I’m dizzy and I’m going to fall,” but he let go of his guitar, and it swung wildly around his neck. He held onto Tio Zopilote’s neck as tightly as he could.

“I always fly this way when I’m near heaven,” Tio Zopilote said. “It’s the winds, you see. The winds of heaven are very different from the winds of earth.”

“Ohhh,” Tio Conejo moaned. His stomach churned and his head began to spin. “Stop, Tio Zopilote. I’m dying …”

“We’re near heaven,” said Tio Zopilote as he swooped and twisted and whirled some more.

“Go back to earth,” shouted Tio Conejo, but Tio Zopilote spun again.

Tio Conejo grabbed his guitar and banged it on Tio Zopilote’s head. Tio Zopilote’s head went right inside the guitar, and he couldn’t see a thing. He began to spin and twirl, but now he was falling back toward earth.

Tio Conejo held Tio Zopilote’s wings out so they floated gently to the ground below.

When they landed on the soft earth, Tio Conejo jumped off Tio Zopilote’s back. “Take the guitar off my head!” Tio Zopilote cried.

“Ask your friends in heaven to take it off,” Tio Conejo laughed. And he skipped away.

Tio Zopilote pulled at that guitar. He twisted and turned. He stood on his head. But he could not shake that guitar loose.

At last he slunk home. His wife laughed at him, but she pulled his head out of the guitar. With it came most of his feathers. Tio Zopilote’s neck was stripped bare.

Those feathers never grew back, and Tio Zopilote’s children never had feathers on their necks, either. And that’s the way it’s been with buzzards ever since.

As for Tio Conejo? Well, he’s still playing tricks, but the other creatures understand. After all, Tio Conejo is a trickster. And they never try to take revenge on him.

by Amy Friedman and Meredith Johnson



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Courtanae Heslop

Jamaican Medium Contributing Author

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*** This article was not written by Courtanae Heslop***


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