Mama said that she had decided to pass the time cleaning fish. All five children, including my mom were already in bed. Besides, the bouzai (local lamp) was still going and it would not make sense to wet it if papa was not yet home. Papa usually came back from the sea after midnight, since that was the best time to fish.

A little dog walked into the yard so she fed him the gills while she gutted the fish. When papa came, it was already way past 1 am, but instead of calmly greeting her like he normally did, he instantly yelled at her, Mais Jeanne sa ou ka fait la noh? (what are you doing there?)”.

She saw the look in his eyes; it wasn’t one that she had not seen before. She stopped. She looked at the dog. It had also stopped. Papa put down his bundle of fish and sent mama off to bed. He held on to the dog. She knew what was going on, but of course she had not contemplated it before papa had given her the look.

She peeped through a crack in the window while he removed all his clothes, according to custom. He pulled out his whip made out of the dried stretched-out penis of a dead cow. He had had that whip ever since she met him when she was 16 and now she was almost twice as old.

He whipped the dog and though she felt sorry, she knew that he knew what he was doing. The puppy yelped and tried to get away, but he held a firm grip. He just kept on beating.

She said that his sweat-covered body shone in the moonlight. She looked at his naked body running through the yard holding onto a puppy that dragged her husband through the yard as if it were a horse in disguise. It was not. It was a man in disguise! She said that his name was Roaul; he was a silly show off, who had just messed with the wrong person this time.

Roaul showed up first thing next morning covered in bruises. “Maider! Jeanne! Pardon, moi te ka joue (sorry, I was just playing).”

Mama said to my mom years later that papa saw something that she hadn’t. The puppy was walking back to front! That’s the way to tell when a human being has hidden his skin in exchange for that of an animal’.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Persons are asked to submit stories about real-life ghost experiences, folklores, and anything related to dominicanewsonline@gmail.com Submissions are strictly confidential, so do not worry. The column appears every Tuesday.