How many of my readers took high school Spanish? Do you remember singing that song, La Cucaracha? This traditional folk song written during the Mexican Revolution is a driving force behind the scene in Mobility Matters Stepping Out in Faith.


I needed a break from correcting my students’ Spanish homework one evening.  “Come here, boy,” I called to the dog.

“Ah, Buddy,” I said as I scooted down next to him on the floor and stroked his silky black ears. I started to sing to him. “La cucaracha, la cucaracha ya no puede caminar.” I searched my mind for the rest of the lyrics. “Porque no tiene, porque le falta una pata de atras.” It had such an upbeat tune and was a favorite not only from my high school days but one that my students begged to sing.

I gently nudged my dog’s leg. “Buddy, guess what this song is about.” He cocked his head and searched for the real meaning of life—nacho chips—as if he were more interested in his stomach than the song. “Ha! It’s about a cockroach that can’t walk because it doesn’t have a hind leg.”

“Ha! It’s about a cockroach that can’t walk because it doesn’t have a hind leg.”

Buddy’s tail thumped against the stool. His eyes followed me as he picked up on my excitement. He jumped up when I danced, estilo-Colombiano, around the room singing the first stanza again. With one hand over my heart and the other out for balance, I shimmied my hips—or maybe it was my behind since I had no real hips to speak of or come to think of it, no real sense of rhythm either—belting out “La cucaracha, la cuca-”

As I tilted my face up, it crashed into the open cupboard door.

Mortally wounded? I bent over double and crumpled onto the tiled kitchen floor. Clutching my forehead, I sucked in my breath and let it out slowly. Ohhhhh. My throbbing head.

I felt a nudge and a rough tongue against the top of my hand. Oh, Buddy. I felt another nudge, and put my arm around his neck, drawing him closer, needing his soft nuzzles. His dark eyes sought to console.

“Buddy,” I whispered, “I was laughing about the cockroach with no hind leg when all the time I forgot that I can’t even see.”

“Buddy,” I whispered, “I was laughing about the cockroach with no hind leg when all the time I forgot that I can’t even see.”

The dog licked my hand again, as if to say, “That doesn’t matter to me.” I think he would have liked to see me dance more but I couldn’t muster the strength.

He let out a deep, heartfelt doggy sigh as if he understood perfectly. I buried my face in his fur, and said, “Next time, warn me if the cupboard door is open. Just bark your head off!”


Mobility Matters Stepping Out in Faith is due to be released in mid-August.

After being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Pennsylvania native
Amy Bovaird manages to continue to teach overseas until her father’s
imminent passing brings her back home for good. Shifts in her home life
and a quick career change disrupt Amy’s plans, but the hereditary eye
disease also begins to manifest itself in ways she had not anticipated.
Friends and acquaintances notice that she doesn’t recognize them.
Insensitive students ridicule her in the classroom. Unwilling at first to
accept that she is truly losing her vision, Amy eventually has to face reality
when the Bureau of Blindness schedules a Mobility Specialist to visit her
at home and begin training her to use a red-and-white folding cane–yes,
the kind that alerts onlookers and screams, “I am a blind person.”
How can such an independent world traveler  suddenly admit that she needs
a cane to find her way around? How can Amy continue her walk of faith
when she can’t see the path ahead of her?

Dancing Blindly in the Kitchen
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10 thoughts on “Dancing Blindly in the Kitchen

  • July 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    You’re welcome, Joan. Have a great day!

  • July 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Oh, Amy! I loved this little story! It actually sounds like me! Keep up the humor and we will survive!

  • July 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    So glad you liked it, Cindy! Come back and visit again. =)

  • July 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Love that song; use the tune to teach ESL to beginners and high beginners: “Do you speak English, Do you speak English? Yes, but just a little bit. repeat…. then another verse is Do you speak Spanish… repeat, No I don’t speak it at all. repeat. always a fun song!

  • July 17, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Very creative, Bettie Lou! I can just hear it in my head now!

  • July 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    How did you know I failed Spanish in college?? Almost failed out altogether. I love the roach with a missing leg, the song, and your dog’s compassion for you. We’re all human which means we’re missing SOMEthing. At least you’re not missing a sense of humor! Onward and upward and watch the cabinet doors on your way up.

  • July 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Kate,
    You made an excellent point: we are all human, which means we are all missing SOMEthing.
    I love that! Ha ha! Spanish is one of those languages that you love or hate, or do well or poorly in. Glad you didn’t fail it!
    Yes, I still have my sense of humor!

  • July 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Okay, now the song and dancing roaches are stuck in my head lol. I haven’t danced into a cupboard door but I’ve walked into them many times and it’s always a very dramatic episode that I believe is Oscar worthy.

  • July 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    You crack me up! It is dramatic, isn’t it? Even walking into a wall is! I often imagine Lucille Ball’s expressions if she were to turn around and bump into one. That’s how I feel inside! I would guess how MOST of us feel! What a lucky job Lucy had. She could act out what so many people experience — and get people to laugh! Have a great day and come back to read more!

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