I remember growing up in Gibraltar and listening to the many stories my grandad Louis would tell us grandkids about.
We were very close as a family and very protective of each other.
Grandad was the patriarch, he was a leader and very charismatic, far from fearsome but we would all listen to his advice and words of wisdom.
His stories were intertwined with some singing and voice changes. He was a heavy smoker so his gruff voice would make us listen even more intently. He was a great story teller, maybe why I like to write?
They were mainstream themes, issues that we needed to have insight of and learn. This was for our safety but it was delivered through a filtered and Innocent delivery by my abuelo (Spanish for grandad).
I fondly remember the story of 'El mantequero'... I suppose it was the Gibraltarian version of the boogie-man. We used to live near the botanical gardens, it was our playground but we needed to respect that although beautiful, the gardens were dangerous after dark.
El mantequero, the butter man : was apparently a big, evil and immoral man that would leap out if the shadows if he caught you lurking after sundown and take a large, sharp knife out of his hooded coat and cut into your palms, removing the fat from them (butter) that he collected and you would not be seen again.
It was a very effective deterrent for us children for many years.
So much so, I was never comfortable walking through the Alameda Gardens in Gibraltar until my late teens.
When I examine the message and the effect, I realise abuelo was teaching us about being aware of the risk we all had. The metaphor was about paedophile awareness.
On reflection, it worked and it was such a lovely way of keeping us safe. Abuelo loved us and was determined to reduce the risk of harm to my brother, cousins and I.
Have you got any memories that you can share that are similar in nature? Any wise words that are entwined in stories?