His mother sang him lullabies every night. But he only fell asleep if the songs spoke of tasty delicacies: roast piglets, stuffed chickens, hens in “pepitoria” sauce and jams.


His mother was ugly and his father was ugly, but [he] was uglier than the two of them put together. By the time he toddled,[he] could spit flame a full ninety-nine yards and vent smoke from either ear. With just a look he cowed the reptiles in the swamp. Any snake dumb enough to bite him instantly got convulsions and died. One day [his] parents hissed things over and decided it was about time their little darling was out in the world doing his share of damage. So they kicked him goodbye and [he] left the black hole in which he’d been hatched.


She lived in the street of San Lorenzo, number twenty. And every Thursday and Saturday night she would take the butter out of a pot that she had and rub it under her armpits. And then she would go and put herself on the sill of the window and say: “Without God or Saint Mary, from village to village”. And with those she went flying through the air and walked all over the city doing his wickedness.


[…] above all the noise, I heard [her] voice screaming
out some sort of an awful gloating song:
Down vith children! Do them in!
Boil their bones and fry their skin!
Bish them, sqvish them, bash them, mash them!
Brrreak them, shake them, slash them, smash them!
Offer chocs vith magic powder!
Say “Eat up!” then say it louder.
Crrram them full of sticky eats,
send them home still guzzling sveets.


A long time ago, in a humble family, there was a son who was so small that he could hardly be seen. He always wanted to help his mother in the purchase, but his mother did not want to, because he was very small and could be stepped on.


Something very strange was happening to [him]. The first thing he noticed was that he couldn’t reach the shelf in his closet that he had always been able to reach before, the one where he hid his candy bars and bubble gum. Then he noticed that his clothes were getting too big. «My trousers are all stretching or something», said [the boy] to his mother. I’m tripping on them all the time». “That’s too bad, dear”, said his mother, looking into the oven. «I do hope this cake isn’t going to fall», she said. “And my sleeves come down way below my hands”, said [the boy]. “So my shirts must be stretching, too”. “Think of that”, said [his] mother. “I just don’t know why this cake isn’t rising the way it should […]”. [The boy] started out of the kitchen. He tripped on his trousers, which indeed did seem to be getting longer and longer.