The World of Iday

The Encantos


by Marcelina


This story first appeared in the July, 1992 issue of The Chela Journal


My Mother and my Father
"The Man Who Sees"

Ever since I could remember, I was told the story over and over, about how an Encanto (Elemental) had left me to be found by my father near the pond where he took the carabaos to bath. They said that at first my father thought I was a frog, but when he picked me up, he saw that I was a baby.

By the age of five, I knew that the Encantos were real and that they were good. They were not mischievous or bad as other children thought of them, and anyone who disagreed was blacklisted as my friend, but it was hard to defend "Someone" I had not seen or known personally before. I was down to one playmate, and in danger of losing her too, when I decided to confess this dilemma to "The Man Who Sees" of the village, my father. I petitioned that as his daughter, I should also be able to see the Unseen. He nodded in agreement!

The long awaited age finally arrived, I had turned six years old and Father would now take me to the farm along with my big Sister Fely. This could be my chance to see one of the Encantos I had been hearing them talk about when they returned from their visits to the farm!

It was still dark outside when I woke up that morning. We must be at the farm before sunrise to gather dry leaves. We would burn the leaves and let the smoke drift through the fruit trees. It was good for the trees and kept the insects away from the fruit.

Father climbed coconut trees and cut down the dry palm fronds, which I dragged to where Sister Fely was building the piles to be burnt. It was a teamwork without any instruction. The silence must be maintained, if I were to see the Unseen.

As we were having lunch under a shade tree, Father pointed his finger to the top of one of the coconut trees. Sister Fely giggled but I did not know what was going on.

I started to pout when my father told me to take a "Siesta", or nap, after lunch. But this time he said, listen to the wind and the birds singing. I did as I was told and felt rested by the sounds. By the time I went back to my duty, I had forgotten my initial goal in coming to the farm.

I was having a good time just being with the two dearest people in my life, when Father stopped me on one of my runs with the coconut leaves. He said someone was riding on the coconut leaf I was dragging and that I should not run so fast or else he might fall off. I turned my head quickly and there he was! A boy Dwende (A Fairie People), smaller than I was, naked and skinny, with very dark brown hair and skin. He looked at me with his big eyes as if waiting for my next move. When I smiled I noticed a look come into those eyes that seemed to say, 'We had been waiting for you". Then he ran off to join two others who appeared to be wrestling under the coconut tree that my father had been pointing at earlier. I looked up to see my father smiling too and nodding.

We finished our job and headed for home. I now knew why my new friends were not easily seen, they blend in with nature, and they have no clothes on!

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