t h e b o g e y m a n
A traditional Portuguese folk story told by Paula Rego in her own words.
Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in a cottage with his old wife and his granddaughter, who was a little girl, and a faithful old dog who was littler still.
One night a band of Bogeyman passed by and one of them said to the others: 'Brother Bogeyman, this is the house. Let us crash in through the roof, eat up the old man, eat up the old woman and carry away the little girl.'
But the faithful old dog heard them and barked so hard that the Bogeyman ran away. And the old man, suspecting nothing, turned to the old woman and said: 'Darned dog for waking me up. Tomorrow I shall cut off his tail!' And the next day the old man got up at dawn and cut off the old faithful dog's tail.
That night the Bogeyman returned and one of them said to the others: 'Brother Bogeyman, this is the house. Let us make a hole in the roof, climb in and eat up the old man, eat up the old woman and carry away the little girl.'
This went on every night until the old man got so exasperated he cut off the old faithful dog's head. So there was no more barking.
And on that night the Bogeyman came and they made a hole in the roof and they climbed into the house and they ate up the old man. They ate up the old woman. And they took away the little girl in a sack.
And when the Bogeyman arrived home they threw the sack on the floor and one patted it and said 'We shall see to you later,' then they went to bed to sleep until night-time, because Bogeyman only sleep by day.
The little girl heard them snoring and she screamed and screamed. She screamed so much that a man with a big dog came to her rescue. And she told him what had happened. The man put his dog in the sack and took the little girl away.
That night the Bogeyman woke up. They went to the sack and each one patted it, saying 'Let us go to work!' They opened the sack and the big dog jumped out and he ate up all the Bogeyman. And the little girl lived happily ever after.