Nito and the Witch

Here’s another story about a child at the San Antonio Missions. This time, it takes place at the Mission La Espada.

Nito is a little Coahuiltecan Indian who is new to the Mission La Espada. He finds that he must stay with Dona Adelita, an old lady who cooks and washes for the priests. He must stay with her while his mother works in the fields picking vegetables and his father works in a carpentry shop. His older brother and sister attend classes to learn religion and Spanish. Nito, too small for classes, must remain in Dona Adelita’s care. He is convinced she is a witch and decides to run away.

Nito runs to his father’s shop and asks for his mother. His father tells him where she may be found. His mother scolds him for leaving Dona Adelita and urges him to return. Just then, Apaches attack, and Nito is struck in the leg. Everything goes black. When he awakes, who should he see but Dona Adelita smiling at him. He learns that she is a “curandera” and has cured his wound.

How do you think he’ll respond to the “witch” from now on?


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