The bird of passage, a fairy tale from Juarez


By Guadalupe Lizárraga

Once upon a time in a magical village in the north of Mexico, there were a lot of beautiful girls playing in flowered gardens. The bustle of their laughs flowed among trees, and the wind transported it the clouds. The clouds are inflated with their laughter and exploited with rain. Each girl depicted a value, a worthy treasure, which their parents must take care until they turn into adults. Then, when a cloud turned into rain, people nourished their souls with the rain of the girls’ values. All the people were happy, honest, kind, courteous, attentive, and a lot of values more that allow them to live in harmony with the community. Families were proud of their girls, of their village, and their destiny, which took care the most beautiful girls in the world.

One day, the parents of the girl who depicted of Sweetness were arguing very angry at each other for something inexplicable to her. The parents did not realize that their daughter was watching them from behind of a tree. The Sweet girl was so sad and crying that she walked away from her house. When she was walking and crying, she was splattering with her tears people in her way. She wanted that people beyond her village would be sweeter, and she walked and cried for a long time looking for more people to help them become sweeter.

Suddenly, she found a handsome boy and she tried to sprinkle him with a tear as likewise other people. However, that boy moved quickly a little, and the tear fell on a rare stone. From the stone came out a grey smoke was rising and it transformed in a dark spirit that flew to the boy´s heart. The boy started to shake and his eyes became red. The sweet girl concerned and scared too, tried to help him. Nevertheless, it was too late, the weak boy hosted in his heart that dark spirit. Next, he led to the girl to a cave with sweet lies that immediately the girl believed. The sweet girl entered a cave but never saw the light again.

The boy with into dark spirit wanted more girls and walked to the village with his brilliant red eyes. Next girl that he found was the girl who depicted Kindness. He did the same. He was very kind and invited to her to the cave saying lies, and she accepted to accompany him until he shoves her into the cave. The Kind girl never saw the light. Again, the dark spirit grew and grew, and it flew into another boy´s heart. Now, there were two boys with the dark spirit, and they wanted to trap more girls and their values.

Thus, every girl with her value was disappearing from the village. And the dark spirit was becoming more powerful and into the hearts of boys and they were multiplying. Parent of girls didn´t know what was happening with their daughters, searching for them without success. The gardens started drying up, and the rain stopped. The clouds moved to other far away villages, and the strong sun´s rays burned any vegetation left. The land turned into a desert. People weren´t been nourish with values from the rain and poverty seized them. No more kind people, they became fearful. No more sweet people, they forgot what it means. No more honest people, avarice made them corrupt. No more solidarity, their pained hearts became miserable. And so on, no more people with love, because every girl had disappeared with her value and its meaning.

Parents were desperate, poor and unfortunate for their missing girls. People started to kill others, while the dark spirit seized their hearts. Mothers of missing girls grew old and sick, fathers committed suicide, girls had a lot of fear and they did not want to be little girls and acted as an adult, whereas boys continued wanting more girls.

The darkness of this village was for 23 years when finally a strong woman decided to do something for help the girls. She sat in the middle of the desert, at the precise moment between day and night and closed her eyes. She offered her heart as a nest of light in order to find the girls. Then, a brilliant light came down to her and she was surrounded in a bubble. A whistle came to her with the light. She opened her eyes and felt relief in her heart. She stood up from the arid soil and walked to her house. Now, she knew how to ask for help and she would do in her night dreams.

A clear night, through the clouds moved by the wind the dream of the woman flew toward the heart of a bird of passage. Then, the bird of passage perched on an enormous tree with thousands of branches. The bird of passage closed its eyes and waited. Every branch was swaying by the wind and provokes a magical power that impregnated the bird. Many nights passed. And each night, the bird of passage obtained a gift until it was ready to fly to the village. When the bird of passage arrived at the village in the middle of the desert, knew where the bones of each missing girl were at. With one of its wings, the bird of passage wanted to pick up one bone, but it was not possible. Then, with its beak picked up the bone and took it to the enormous tree. With its claws, the bird of passage dug deep between roots of the tree and buried the bone. Every night did the same, and when the bird of passage buried the bones of 233 girls, their souls came to the tree and the tree started to flourish. Next day, the tree had 233 flowers. The strong smell of the flowers attracted a lot of little birds which came to the tree, and its happy songs were rising to the clouds, and the clouds were inflated, and the wind moved the clouds until they were on top of the village.

Unexpectedly, the villagers felt the rain on their faces and felt their clothes wet. The sun reduced the heat of its rays, and a lot of vegetation started to grow again in the gardens where the girls were playing. The faces of the villagers covered in smiles and laughter. Boys were desperate because their red eyes did not provoke fear anymore. When the bird of passage saw that happiness of the village, she cried, and she cried a lot, and with her beak wrote the name of each girl disappeared on each branch of the enormous tree.

Now, parents know their daughters are underneath the sacred tree of Memory. Girls are not forgotten. Otherwise, their values are remembered in each child born in the village, and parents promise him or her really to take care and not to make them unhappy. For an each missing girl in this village of the north of Mexico, people know that it is a value which is lacking among them.

Guadalupe Lizárraga

Periodista independiente. Fundadora de Los Ángeles Press, servicio digital de noticias en español en Estados Unidos sobre derechos humanos, género, política y democracia. Autora de las investigaciones en formato de libro Desaparecidas de la morgue (Editorial Casa Fuerte, 2017) y El falso caso Wallace (Casa Fuerte, 2018) ambos distribuidos por

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