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Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Mexican Twins


T HIS is a picture of Antonio Francisco Gomez and his twin sister, Margarita Teresa Gomez.

They live on the great hacienda, or plantation, of Señor Fernandez, in the wonderful country of Mexico, and they are eight years old.

The boy is named Antonio for Saint Antonio and Francisco for his father, and the girl is named Margarita for Saint Margarita and Teresa for her mother.

But nobody ever thinks of calling the Twins by all these names. They are called just Tonio and Tita, to save time.

Even their father isn't called by his long name! Everybody calls him Pancho—that is, everybody but the Twins, of course.

Their mother isn't called anything at all for short. She is always called Doña Teresa. I do not know why this is, unless perhaps it is because she can make better tortillas, and chicken mole, and candied sweet potatoes than any one else on the whole hacienda.

Pancho is a vaquero, or cowboy.

There are hundreds of cows and oxen and sheep and goats on Senor Fernandez's hacienda, and all day long, every day, Pancho rides about on his horse Pinto, rounding up cattle, driving the cows to pasture after milking, or getting the oxen together for the plowing.

The Twins think it is a fine thing to be a vaquero and ride horseback all the time.

Tonio means to be one when he grows up. He practices riding on Tonto, the donkey, now, and he has had his own lasso since he was six.

If you will turn the page you will find a picture of the little adobe hut where Tonio and Tita and Pancho and Doña Teresa live. Pancho isn't in the picture, because he and Pinto are away in the fields, but Doña Teresa is there grinding her corn, and Tita is feeding the chickens, while Tonio plays with his dog, Jasmin.

Tonto is looking out from the shed at the end of the hut. Tita's cat is on the roof. She is almost always on the roof when Jasmin is about.


Beside the hut is a fig tree, which bears the most delicious figs. Every night the red rooster, the five hens, and the turkey go to roost in its branches, and every day its green boughs make a pleasant shade across the dooryard.

Back of the hut there is a tiny garden with bee-hives, and beyond that there is a path through the woods that leads down to a little river. It was in this very path, just where the stepping-stones cross the river, that Tonio met—But there! it tells all about that in the story and you can read it for yourselves.