Title: The Senorita and the Cactus Thorn
Author: Kim Antieau
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Fantasy, Tricksters
Dates read: 12th July 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: He asked her to join him, so she did.
She knows that she wants to marry him, but before she can have her happily ever after, she must get past the mother-in-law. A little bit of gumption, magic and trickery is what it might take to survive in this new desert world.
The Princess and the Pea has always been one of those stories that is kind of iconic for me. I’m not sure why, since I don’t often enjoy stories about princessy princesses. But, this version of it using tricksters and the desert is far more to my taste. Actually, I was incredibly disappointed when it was over.
Mother-in-laws always seem to be the terrifying part of marriage (not for me, I have an awesome mother-in-law). Which made this an incredibly relatable story for almost everyone who has found their significant other and now just has to run the gauntlet. They seem to have a power and reserve for judgement that makes many people tremble, and it’s only after their acceptance that people feel settled and accepted. Or at least, that’s how it’s always been in my social circles. Which made this story completely relatable and kind of perfect. The senorita wasn’t able to finally have her happily ever after until she finally managed to secure the acceptance of the mother of her husband-to-be.
Coyote is one of my favourite tricksters of folklore. There is something about his stories and persona that makes me dive deep into any and all stories which feature this character. Using Coyote in this story worked perfectly for me and sorely disappointed that the tale was ended. Even if it was only allusions to the trickster, rather than an outright story.