My mother was born in a different part of the Philippines from my dad. She had more myths to talk to me about.
She said there was a half-man, half-horse (I’m guessing it’s like a Greek centaur) that scared people. Our new dog reminded her of that creature and justified that that was why other dogs were scared of her and barked at her like she was an evil presence.
She said that when people die, their soul remains in our world for nine days. Why? I don’t know. My mom wasn’t the type to be scared of ghosts–she loves horror–so when she sounded scared when she talked about it the day her grandmother died, I have to admit, I freaked out a bit.
She said you had to wear red on the ninth day so that the soul wouldn’t go to you. She wore red shorts nine days after her grandmother in the Philippines died. She wanted to avoid her? I wondered why, but I never asked. She said she was the favorite of her grandmother, which meant her grandmother had to visit her on her last day, but I didn’t know why my mother wanted to avoid her. It scared me.
And at midnight, the first hour of the ninth day since her grandmother died, our corgi was sleeping next to her and started barking. Nonstop barking at our front door, which was basically a window. My mom, of course, got scared and called our dog back into her room and allowed her to sleep with her all night since my dad was working a night shift and wouldn’t be back till later.
When our corgi died (nine days ago from when I post this), my mom was devastated. She had called her her little baby, her child. She was with us for ten years before she passed. My mom was especially depressed since she wanted our corgi to stay with us at least until Christmas, or maybe when the Christmas decorations would be put up.
After Thanksgiving brunch (my dad had a twelve-hour shift beginning at twelve, so we ate early), my mom was sad that our corgi couldn’t stay with us, but then she saw something pass by the window that I didn’t see.
It was a brown butterfly.
She said it was the soul of our dog coming to visit us.