The Child Whose Feet Hurt the Earth

The banging on the door got heavier and soon the expensive wood began to splinter.

"Come here Rosita. Come here sweetheart. Come to mama." Esmeralda said crouched down next to the large dining room table.

The young child stood up and took a step toward her mother, but a tremor in the earth shook the child back to the ground. There, off her feet, the tremors stopped and Rosita began crying.

The banging doubled in intensity. Juanita pressed herself up onto her hands and slowly climbed back to her feet. She did her best to smile and clap her hands playfully at the child. Rosita was the only weapon she had left to protect the two of them.

"Come on apple. Come quickly sweetheart.” Rosita stood up. “That's it apple. Come on."

This time she was able to take two steps before the angry earth knocked her down again, but it wasn’t enough to halt the women. The door gave way and Juanita jumped forward to snatch up her child. She barely had her hands on Rosita's shoulders when the mob of women was upon them. It took seven of them to drag Juanita away screaming into the hot noon sun.

The remaining miner’s widows stood in a circle as two of them held the small, crying child down. A third brought forth a large stone and positioned it high over the child's feet.


Commentary

Children quite commonly meet a sloppy end in Ungeheuer's stories and his dislike for children was rivaled only by W.C. Fields. He and his wife, Anna, though married for 56 years never had children of their own.