“A Bruxa Velha” English-Portuguese translation by Vitor Rafael Siqueira de Araújo, “The Ole Higue” by Rosaliene Bacchus, Guyanese folkloric short story, Roraima/North Brazil
At the end of May 2017, I received an unexpected request by e-mail from Vitor Rafael Siqueira de Araújo, a young poet, literature teacher, and freelance Portuguese/English translator in Roraima, North Brazil. His first poetry collection is due for publication in 2018.
With a bachelor’s degree in English and Portuguese literature from the University of Roraima, Vitor is currently enrolled in a postgraduate course in Translation Studies. Specializing in the translation of short stories, Vitor sought permission to translate one of my short stories.
I selected my most popular short story, The Ole Higue, published in July 2008 in the Guyana Journal (New York/USA). Considering that my short story contains dialog in Caribbean Creole English, Vitor’s project was very ambitious.
With its origins in West African mythology, the ole higue is an evil spirit that takes the form of an ugly, repulsive old woman that sucks the blood of her victims. She’s a witch and vampire wrapped in one package to scare disobedient kids like my seven-year-old character, Sammy. Some children have to feel before they listen.
For my Brazilian and other Portuguese language readers, Vitor’s translation, A Bruxa Velha is now available on his blog. Enjoy.
This Thanksgiving, I give thanks to Vitor Rafael Siqueira de Araújo for this unexpected present.
A happy Thanksgiving Day to all my American readers!