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  • Kidnapped by the Pombero February 2, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite , trackback


    The story starts nicely enough and then takes a decided turn for the bizarre. In July of last year (2016) a two and a half year old child was lost in the Argentinean countryside in an area of ‘bush and mountains’. Beach’s youngest is two and he shivers to think what this means. The little boy, Octavio Leonel Da Silva, wandered off from a campground: he had been left asleep in a tent and evidently woke up and went looking for his parents while unsupervised. He was eventually found two days later, two and a half kilometers away by the local police force: 100 policemen, dogs, a drone and a helicopter were put on the job of finding the child.

    So a terrible story that ended well… Only there is more. Octavio’s parents were convinced that their son had been taken by ‘a mythological creature’, the Pombero (aka the Señor della Noche), a nightmare figure from Guarani tradition. The Pombero is big in northern Argentina and as far north as Brazil: so big, in fact, that he has his own Wikipedia page! Beach has included above an artist’s impression (ahem). He gets up to the normal fairy nonsense: raping sleeping women, stealing children… But he can be bought off. If a threatened party leaves tobacco or strong spirits then Pombero will go and look for other victims: in other words Pombero runs a rural protection racket. Octavio’s father, after his son’s rescue, left smokes and a beer for ‘the man of the night’. Interestingly the owner of the camping site had another theory. He claimed that Octavio had been stolen not by the Pombero but by Yasy Yataré a forest-dwelling gnome and another figure from the Guarani legendary. Beach sincerely hopes not because Yasy first plays with children then let’s them go home only after taking their reason or leaving them with epilepsy.

    The parallel with certain British news reports where missing children were believed to have been taken by the fairies is striking: Beach thinks of an eighteenth century instance from Cornwall.

    Fingers crossed that Octavio grows up with no memory of his ordeal.

    Other news stories about fairies stealing children in the countryside: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com