TEXT EXCERPT –
“LETTING STORIES BREATH” -by Arthur Frank
Fifteen years ago I became caught up in a story that I have told on numerous public occasions, sometime reading it, sometimes telling it from memory.
This story is by the South American writer Eduardo Galeano, and it is titled “Christmas Eve.”
Fernando Silva ran the children’s hospital in Managua. On Christmas Eve, he worked late into the night. Firecrackers were exploding and fireworks lit up the sky when Fernando decided it was time to leave. They were expecting him at home to celebrate the holiday.
He took one last look around, checking to see that everything was in order, when he heard cottony footsteps behind him. He turned to find one of the sick children walking after him. In the half light he recognized the lonely, doomed child. Fernando recognized the face already lined with death and those eyes asking for forgiveness, or perhaps permission.
Fernando walked over to him and the boy gave him his hand. “Tell someone . . “ the child whispered. ”Tell someone I’m here.”
Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010:4