El Cucuy: A Bogeyman Cuento (English And Spanish)

So, you’ve been in trouble. Your -parents tell you they’re calling the bogeyman. You laugh. There’s no such thing!

Then—you hear a sharp knock. Standing at the door is the oldest man you have ever seen. It’s el Cucuy (coo-COO-ee)! With that big red ear, he hears everything!

In this cautionary tale, storyteller Joe Hayes tells about two girls who didn’t believe in el Cucuy until he snatched them up. Of course, the story has a happy ending.

One thought on “El Cucuy: A Bogeyman Cuento (English And Spanish)

  1. Leah Bragin says:

    Joe Hayes describes El Cucuy, with “a back as crooked as a bend cedar branch” and as a standard part of raising children in the Southwest. With his oversize, big red ear, el Cucuy can hear everything, especially the sounds of children misbehaving. The story begins, and immediately is reminiscient of cinderella – a helpful, good youngest daughter in a single-parent home with two unhelpful older sisters. After many threats, the father of the girls decides to follow through and call for el Cucuy to come take away his unhelpful eldest daughters. However, as soon as his girls were taken away, the father regretted his actions and set off to look for his daughters. Fortunately, a goat herder stumbled upon the cave where the girls were trapped, rescued them, and brought them back to their father, where of course, they never misbehaved again.

    More widely known by the name of el Coco or el Cuco, el Cucuy is well-known by Mexican and Mexican-American children. Comparable to the boogie man, el Cucuy and the many lessons he’s taught bad children, continue to excite and spook young ears.

    Hayes, J. (2001) El Cucuy! El Paso, TX: Cico Puntos Press.

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