My First Brush With The Unknown Part 2
My second brush with the unknown is equally perturbing. It happened within the same year that my Lola Titay died. Its been said by the old folks that a few gifted people have been given the rare chance to be able to see with a third eye what the average people cannot see - an entirely different dimension not seen by the natural world, the world of the supernatural, of elves and fairies and goblins. One doesn't have to necessarily believe that they exist but not to do so doesn't make them go away either.
We used to live in a very old house which according to my mother was built way back in the 1940's. We lived in that old Spanish-styled house for five years before my parents decided to have it demolished and erected a new bungalow in 1972. And for good reason. The house had a history of unexplained phenomenon that nobody really knew about except for me. No, the house is not haunted at all. At least, not as far as my parents are concerned. There is no ghostly apparitions to speak of. Well, actually, its not haunted by ghosts, but by "little people" we know as the duwendes.
The reason for this is quite simple. In the backyard where there used to be a deep balon (well) and just beside an old acacia tree lies a small hump of earth that has been locally known most especially in the olden days as "nuno sa punso." It was a common belief by the old folks that such particular spots are resided by the notorious elves - some kind of spirit beings who possess unusual powers. They are invisible to the naked eye but every once in a while allow themselves to be seen by other people. Or they might assume the form of an unassuming animal or insect like a white rabbit or a white butterfly, for instance.
Not everybody has seen one except for what has been depicted in the fairy tales and the movies. That is, if you don't count me. You see, I was given the privilege to see some of them for one short instance when I was still a young boy. I will never forget that day. I woke up that morning from the banig where we slept during that time when the mattress was then considered a luxury. My parents were still asleep and I was the only one up. In our room, there was a huge aparador (drawer dresser) with a life-size mirror. Normally, I would be seeing my reflection in the mirror but to my surprise I didn't. Instead I saw these colorful people who were about the same height as I was then but only, they are way much older. They wear these funny-looking clothes that I have never seen before.
One was wearing green outfit and the other one red. They wore some kind of weird cap that somehow seemed connected to the rest of their costume. And its true how they depicted them in the movies for I distinctly noticed their pointed ears and their noses too were unusually chiseled. And I cannot forget the texture of their skin. They were olive-complexioned but the skin seemed like that of rubber. One of them sported a beard while the other was clean-shaven.
For what seemed like a long time I just stood there, frozen, with my mouth open and staring at them for I have never seen such beautiful "creatures" before. And beyond them in the background of what used to be a mirror was filled with an entirely different view of an enchanting place I have never been to before. The mirror turned into what seemed like a portal to a different dimension into which I was gazing and these little elves were calling and urging me to come in. They were talking to me in a language I cannot understand. It may be Latin for all I know but to me its definitely unintelligible.
After I recovered from my initial surprise I actually warmed up to them and was at this point seriously contemplating on taking a step towards their direction. I was enticed by what one of them was offering which to me appeared like a ball but its glowing and changing colors every so often. I can't seem to take my eyes off it as if I'm being hypnotized. Finally, I began to take a step towards them. I didn't know what's going to happen if I entered into their world but being so young I didn't give much thought into it. Then before I could take the next step my mother turned and made a sound and this distracted me. I looked down at her and at that moment her eyes opened. When I looked up again I just saw myself in the mirror.
I didn't tell anyone about this experience. Probably because it seemed like just a dream to me. But in my heart I knew that it really did happen. That was the one and only time that I saw the duwendes. They didn't show themselves to me anymore. But that was enough experience for me to know that they really exist. Ever since, whenever I pass or come across the punso I always mutter to myself, "tabi-tabi po" or as my mother would say in her dialect, "bari-bari apo." This is my encounter with the elves. Do you believe it?
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