A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
How we cite our quotes:
And yet, they called in a neighbor woman who knew everything about life and death to see him, and all she needed was one look to show them their mistake. (2)
This is down home religion—someone who knows what's what about life and death. Who needs a priest when you've got a wise old woman living next door?
"He's an angel," she told them. "He must have been coming for the child, but the poor fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down." (3)
Religion isn't all campfires and kumbaya. (Not even mostly.) It's also angels of death and the fear of hell—not necessarily very comforting.
Against the judgment of the wise neighbor woman, for whom angels in those times were the fugitive survivors of a celestial conspiracy, they did not have the heart to club him to death. (4)
In a lot of South and Central American countries, Catholicism mixed with local or other imported beliefs to form syncretic religions like Santeria—half saints and Jesus; half evil spirits and herb medicine. And the neighbor woman seems to lean a little more toward the evil spirits side.