Pedrinho couldn’t think of any place other than Grandma Benta’s ranch, to have fun by the side of his sweet grandmother, of his creative cousin Narizinho, of aunt Nastacia and her delicious treats, of the gluttonous Marquis of Rabicó, of the wise Viscount of Sabugosa, and of the irreverent Emilia.
The ranch was very large and well groomed, and the main house had very comfortable rooms. The bedrooms were quite alike, except for grandma’s, which was larger. Only Emilia and Sabugosa didn’t have their own bedrooms: they rested close to the books, but sometimes, Emilia would hang around in Narizinho’s bedroom.
There were very large rooms. The dining room accommodated several people and its windows led to a garden.
Quite close to the dining room there was the kitchen, where aunt Nastacia cooked her treats every day.
Another very busy area was the living room, where they had over many guests, where they chatted, and where Dona Benta read aloud her daily stories. There was a wooden couch, with a straw so stretched it seemed to sing when played. There were also two armchairs with the same singing straw, which Pedrinho loved to play. In the center, there was a marble-topped booth coffee table. By the wall side, two half tables of the same style as the one in the center, with various decorations of crochet towels and beads on top of it, made by Narizinho. Oh! A piano which Dona Benta adored. There were also shelves filled with books.
After a small hall, there was a small balcony surrounded by plants, where all would have lunch and chat.
There were many flowers in Dona Benta’s garden, which Pedrinho made sure of planting to make his grandma happy.
Next to the house, there was the orchard, which was as old as the main house, and had very tall and old trees. Some of those trees had owners: the jabuticabeiras were Pedrinho’s; the mangueiras, Narizinho’s; the pitangueiras, Emilia’s, and the remaining ones belonged to everybody, but everyone could eat each other’s tree fruits.
Right behind the main house, there was Uncle Barnabé’s wooden cabin, next to the river that surrounded the ranch, where Pedrinho loved to fish. As for Aunt Nastacia, she only went fishing on Sundays.
During the first Sunday after Pedrinho’s arrival, aunt Nastacia was able to catch only one fish. They all wanted to eat it. There was a fight between Narizinho and Emilia.
“That fish is mine!” yelled Emilia.
“No, it’s mine!” replied Narizinho.
At this moment of disturbance, while they walked through the house, grandma said:
– To end this nuisance, it is mine!
That was the beautiful ranch where Pedrinho spent his vacation. However, this time, he wanted to do something different. He asked his grandma if he could go hunting in the thicket located behind the ranch. His grandma said it was too dangerous, for there were jaguars, snakes, saci, among other things.
“Grandma, I’m not afraid of jaguars, snakes…” said Pedrinho.
“What about saci?!” his grandma replied.
“Oh, that one scares me”.
“As brave as you are, you’re scared of saci?!” said Dona Benta.
Pedrinho was thinkful for a while: some say saci doesn’t exist, others say it does… we don’t know for sure. I must find out everything. Grandma mentioned that Uncle Barnabé knew everything about saci and had even seen one…
The next day, the boy headed to the wise old man’s cabin. That old man knew many stories.
Uncle Barnabé described the saci: a little devil with one leg, who runs very fast, with a small smoking pipe in his mouth, and set up many acts of mischief, small deeds of perverseness. His enchantments are in his red hood and he who catches it owns him as a slave.
Uncle Barnabé said that he once caught a saci with a cross stitch sieve. He waited for a whirlwind and, as soon as the strong wind passed, he threw the sieve on top of it, so that the saci was trapped in it. He put a bottle beneath the sieve and the saci entered it. Pedrinho paid much attention and asked to see the bottled saci, but Uncle Barnabé told him that a girl accidently released the prankster.
Pedrinho kept waiting for days for a strong wind, just like a whirlwind, to pass, in search of a saci. That was until strong winds came and a whirlwind suddenly appeared with a saci on top of it. That was the moment! He immediately threw the cross-stitch sieve and then placed the bottle beneath it, but he didn’t see a thing. He thought it was very weird. Would it be true?! Uncle Barnabé said that saci can turn invisible. Hmm, I’m not sure!
Now Pedrinho had the image of the saci on its whirlwind in his mind… and kept thinking of his next adventures.
Search for Monteiro Lobato‘s biography.
Get acquainted with the rewritings of this novel:
Adaptação do conto de Elisabete Ribeiro – Versão de Rafael Cury Scarpelli