When I was a boy, one of the scariest people of my life was la llorona. La llorona had no children of her own because she had killed them. So she wandered around after her death looking for her children so she could rest in peace.
I never actually met her, or even saw her, but my mother always told me that la llorona was always looking for me or any boy or girl who didn’t obey their parents. She usually came out after dark looking for children who didn’t listen to their parents and stayed out too long into the night. If la llorona saw us, she would snatch us up thinking we were her children. Apparently she didn’t have very good eyesight. Who was she? I don’t know since I never actually saw her, although I could always feel her presence. No matter where I went, in Chicago or México, la llorona was always nearby. I know this for a fact because my mother always reminded me.
When I was about six, my mother told me how she actually saw la llorona in Huatusco, Veracruz. When my mother was a girl, her mother told her to go to bed at sunset, which she did. But when my mother thought her mother was asleep, she sneaked out of the house through a window and she went to visit her friend who also went out the window with her. They were wandering the streets of Huatusco–there were only two back then–at night and no one was out. That’s because all good boys and girls were home in bed sleeping. Suddenly, they felt a cold breeze and saw an old woman walking toward them. When they finally realized it was la llorona, it was too late to run away. La llorona grabbed my mother and her friend by the wrist and she was taking them away. Somehow, my mother managed to escape. But her friend wasn’t so lucky. She was never seen nor heard from again. My mother ran home and immediately went to bed, but she couldn’t sleep because of the fright she had just suffered.
The next day, the whole town is wondering what had happened to my mother’s friend. Finally, my mother speaks up even though she knows she’ll get in trouble. Well, everyone in the town was satisfied with my mother’s explanation and her mother didn’t punish her because she had been punished enough because she actually felt the cold hand of la llorona. What about the missing girl? Well, she had it coming to her because she had disobeyed her parents. All the parents in the town made sure that their children knew about what la llorona had done. So, whenever I wanted to stay out late and my mother wanted to go home, she would remind me of la llorona and how she would snatch me up.