So just like the olden days, with no technology to amuse ourselves after dinner, we had no option but to talk to each other, relating stories of our day (not around the camp fire though as that would be too silly in this damn heat!!). DH kicked off and told us of a young man, friend of Eduardo the carpenters' apprentice, who died tragically over the previous weekend. Apparently he had had one too many beers and skidded off the road on his motorbike, hit a tree and died instantly. Dreadful waste of a young life. It seems that Saturday nights are notorious for motor vehicle accidents as that is the day that the Tico's let their hair down and enjoy one too many Guaros.
DH learned of this tragedy not through Eduardo or Alejandro, the guys he was working with, but by a visiting plain-clothed police officer that was 'investigating' the boys' untimely demise. DH's fanciful portrayal of this lone figure reminded me a lot of Columbo, all inept and wearied, (although I somehow doubt that even Peter Falk's character would wear his trademark raincoat in this weather).
Anyhow, what most interested DH was, not the detectives investigating technique, or lack of, but his extreme concern about a black creature that he had spotted running along the road very late the previous evening: a wild dog-like fiend moving faster than a car could possibly travel. The law-man described the mythical beast as being extremely large in stature with incredibly long legs, and was most curious to know if Alejandro, or those present, had heard or indeed seen, anything strange in recent evenings? Had they heard of anything, or anyone going missing lately? Had they come across any strange smells?
DH scoffed at the officers' tale - can you imagine a 'bobby' back in the UK asking about such nonsense? But here in CR, myths and legends are taken very seriously. Most regions have their own folklore, handed down from generation to generation, and despite DH's mocking, both the carpenter and his apprentice became very pensive after the cop left, believing in the reality of the mythical creature.
This little snippet of information from DH, led me the following day, to see what I could find out about this 'monster'. From Columbo's description, it looks like he was referring to The Cadejo, a mysterious evil spirit, that is sometimes said to be the devil himself. Up to the size of a cow, the Cadejo is usually depicted as looking like a shaggy dog, with burning red eyes and goats hooves, often lurking in graveyards and dark alleys waiting to attack passing victims. Inflicting insanity on those that either speak to it or turn away from it, the Cadejo has a distinctive sulfurous smell surrounding it.
It is also reported that the Cadejos are night-time spirits that sometimes appear to travellers. They can be either black or white: the white is there to protect the traveller during his/her journey, whereas the black incarnation materialises in order to kill .
Perhaps that explains why the detective was more concerned with the appearance of the brute, rather than in actually doing his work and retracing the final hours of an unlucky young man. Perhaps the Cadejo was searching for a victim ...
|El Cadejo, its gaze freezing anyone who makes eye contact.|