“El Cadejo”

The following is an interview between me and my friend, Edgar, while he was practicing piano over at the Caruso Catholic Center. He told me about a legend he knew from Nicaragua.

Edgar: “So it’s called ‘El Cadejo’, and it’s actually two dogs: a white one and a black one. So the white one represents the person’s companion, and the black one represents death. So if you– if a white dog comes to you, then you’re, like, kind of having good luck, you know, and the cadejo walks with you, like, that’s the legend, like the white cadejo walks with you and stays close to you. But if you see a black one you die (laughs).”

Me: “Oh that’s cool, it’s kinda like the– like seeing a black cat cross your path.”

Edgar: “Kinda, yeah. The black cat is like bad luck right?”

Me: “Mhm.”

Edgar: “Exactly. But, the black cadejo you literally die. Like, you die right there. Yeah, so it’s– it’s just scary, you know, ‘cuz in Nicaragua, it’s very common– we have a lot of stray dogs– street dogs, it’s just like… a lot. Like, we have a lot. So, it’s just– I don’t know, walking in the dark, on a road, ‘cuz you know some of our streets are not like– they’re not–with lights. So it’s just like really scary to see… a dog, and people say a joke, like, ‘Oh! There’s a cadejo,’ especially if it’s black, you know, but… that’s one of the biggest legends and stuff.”

Me: “Did you ever see one cross your path?”

Edgar: “Yeah, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the one ‘cuz I’m still here (laughs). But yeah, that’d be it.”

It was cool to see another example of the good and evil dichotomy in black and white in this legend. Especially being able to see the relation to the idea of a black cat crossing your path, though the consequences of this legend are far more severe than bad luck. It was also cool how the legend fit the local area where it was being told, in that there were plenty of stray dogs to present the possibility of a black one crossing your path.