Estefy and the Seven Niños
Once upon a time, there was a gringathat lived among the friendly and happy people of Las Tolas, Ecuador. Her Spanish was quite terrible, but the locals were very patient with her, and she managed to get along very well in the small, mountain barrio of the jungle.
She worked everyday at la guarderìa, or daycare, where she met seven very charming little ninos. Of course they all had Spanish names, a few of which she always mispronounced, but after some quality time of getting to know them well she dubbed them new names of her own accord:
The youngest of the bunch was Hungry. Always, Estefy was running to retrieve an object from Hungry’s mouth. If it fit–or even if it didn’t–you knew it was going to end up in Alejandro’s mouth at one point or another.
Next youngest was Grumpy. Grumpy was always crying. She seldom wanted to eat or nap, and her favorite word was “no.” On the few occasions that she wasn’t in tears, she was a very sweet little nina to play with, but most of the time her cries could be heard throughout the guarderia.
Then there was Curious. Curious was a very quiet, inquisitive little nino. He was able to say a few words, but he spent most of his time quietly observing. Often you could find him flipping through a picture book or looking out the window.
One of the sweetest little ninas was Sleepy. Sleepy had the sweetest little smile and the biggest cheeks, but always, she was sleeping. This nina had the ability to fall asleep anywhere at virtually any time. A trying task was feeding this little one because halfway through lunch her eyes would inevitably start to droop and her head start to nod… On one occasion, this nina fell asleep standing up with her head in Estefy’s lap!
There was also Bashful. Bashful was a very, very quiet little nina. She seldom smiled, never talked, and liked to play by herself. Estefy would sometimes wave to Bashful from across the room, which usually resulted in Bashful running away and hiding!
Quite opposite was Loco. Loco was a little ball of energy. He could run and climb and sing all day long and never grow tired. In fact, he never sat still.
Finally, there were the two Happys. Always these little ones were smiling or laughing. El Nino Happy found pure joy in playing with his food, whereas la Nina Happy found particular joy in playing with la gringa’s face.
And so with those seven ninos, along with quite a few others, la gringa spent her days playing, cleaning, singing, cooking, loving, and practicing her Spanish in the little town of Las Tolas, Ecuador, where they lived happily every after for the month that she lived there.