My little brother, Adam, recently came home from his mission in Iquitos, Peru.

I say “little,” but he outgrew me years ago.  Now he has hands the size of garbage can lids and bangs his head on the ceiling for fun.

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He’s much smaller width-wise, though.  He dropped 50 lbs in 6 weeks…thanks to catching typhoid fever.  It seems like a very effective diet, I might try it.

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Anyway, he’s very excited to move on with his life, and said so the moment he stepped off the plane.

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My dignified, reserved father put his foot down.

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So he did.

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(Joking.  He’s actually working at the UPS store.)  (I just WISH he was working at a food place.  Anyone who has a sibling knows how fantastic it is when they work at a food place–they always get you delicious food at a discount and even better, they always smell like that food.  If it were up to me, all my siblings would be working at Pretzelmaker.)

That hurdle cleared, my little brother has thrown himself into the dating game.  Yea, that game in which there be-ith many chutes and ladders, twists, turns, ups, down, circles, and absolutely no winners.

He asked me for relationship advice the other day.

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Well, don’t ask me.  I don’t understand girls and I am one.

Anyway, little bro not only came home with a super cute Peruvian accent, but also, urban jungle legends.  Since it’s the Halloween season, I thought it would be fun to share ’em with you.  Here goes.

THE BUFEO LEGEND

The Amazon river has pink dolphins.  I’m not making this up–they really do.  Here’s a bonafide picture:

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They say, though, that these pink dolphins can transform into very handsome gringo boys (“Just like me,” says Adam.)  At times, they leave their river and go hunting…

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…For girls.  They attend the discotecas and do some suave dancing and schmooze all the ladies!

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Afterward, the bufeo drags the girl to his river.

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And drowns her.

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In another version, he doesn’t actually drown her, but brings her to his magical underground city where they live happily ever after.

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Personally I think the first ending makes more sense.  How would she breathe?  It’s not logical.

THE TANRILLA LEGEND

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The tanrilla is a bird in South America.

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Legend says that if you kill this bird and carve a whistle out of its leg bone, it’s a sort of magic charm.

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Not just any magic charm, either.  It can make a girl fall in love with you!

First, you have to look through the whistle at the girl.

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(She mustn’t see you doing it, though.)

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Then, you play a song on the whistle.

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Next time you see her…she’ll be all over you.

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My brother met someone who had actually wooed his wife this way.  I wonder how she felt about that.

(I also told Adam he should take up tanrilla hunting for this very purpose.  It’s a shame they don’t live in Utah!)

THE CHULLACHAQUI LEGEND

This one is the creepiest of all.  The chullachaqui is a jungle troll.

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Not just a troll…it has the power to change into what you’re looking for.  So, if you’re poaching jaguars and get lost in the jungle…

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You’ll find that jaguar.

If you are wandering in the jungle and dearly missing your grandma…

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There she is.

But you can always tell if it’s actually your grandma, because the chullachaqui has a goat leg that doesn’t transform.  So if your grandma is limping kind of funny and has a cloven hoof…she’s actually a chullachaqui.

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My little brother had a run-in with a chullachaqui!  (Sort of.)  He was cooking dinner with the the missionaries one night, when a weird light flashed through the apartment window.

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THEM: It’s a chullachaqui!

ADAM:  No it wasn’t.  It was a passing car, pues.

THEM:  No way, that was way too real to be a car.

ADAM:  It was a passing car, guys.  Look, let’s go out and see.

THEM:  Ok, but you’re going first!

So he did.  The 3 elders (which included a gringo) followed after.

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The wind kicked up.

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And the door locked behind them.

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And then it started to rain.

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They had to wait a couple of hours in the rain before their landlord came by and unlocked the door.  (It probably was the chullachaqui.)

I had a breakthrough while writing this blog post.  It occurred to me that there’s a reason only bigfoot hunters find bigfoot.

It’s because bigfoot doesn’t exist.  He’s actually a chullachaqui.

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Scientifically, this makes way more sense to me.  Next time you see a bigfoot, doublecheck its legs and see if I’m wrong.

As for Adam, he’s still single!  I hate to turn this blog into a singles ad, but on the other hand…he’d probably love to date you.

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Of course I wouldn’t blame him :D

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