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The pear inside the bottle.

by Yucatan Times
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That bottle, a relic of the past, was acquired by his great-grandfather, Don Alonso Palomeque Pérez de Hermida, during a trip to the Swiss Alps in the late 1920s or early 1930s. As an engineer, Don Alonso was captivated by the design’s ingenuity and brought it home, placing it in his personal collection in his bar.

Little Mitchell, a boy with hair as golden as the sun and eyes brimming with curiosity, stumbled upon an antique bottle on his grandfather’s old shelves. Inside, almost magically, was a perfect pear. At the tender age of four, he discovered an object that ignited his imagination like nothing before. His eyes widened in awe, trying to fathom how such a large fruit could fit into such a small opening.

Over the days that followed, the bottle became the center of all his conversations. Mitch couldn’t stop thinking about it, formulating theories and questions that kept him busy. He wondered if the pear was real or if it was some kind of illusion. He questioned how it was possible for a pear to grow inside a bottle, and if it was a natural occurrence or a result of human intervention. As time passed, his fascination did not diminish. The liquor bottle with the pear inside became a symbol of curiosity and wonder, a constant reminder that the world was full of mysteries waiting to be unveiled.

That bottle, a relic of the past, was acquired by his great-grandfather, Don Alonso Palomeque during a trip to the Swiss Alps in the late 1920s or early 1930s. As an engineer, Don Alonso was captivated by the design’s ingenuity and brought it home, placing it in his personal collection in his bar. After his passing, the bottle was passed down to his grandfather Juan Antonio, and then to his father, who now narrates and for a while, safeguarded the piece with the same reverence and wonder.

As the years passed, Mitchell’s fascination with the bottle grew into a deep appreciation for the engineering marvel it represented. At fifteen, he embarked on a quest to uncover the mystery of the pear in the bottle. His research led him to a traditional method used by farmers: they would carefully place the bottles on top of the growing pear trees, allowing the pears to develop and mature within the confines of the glass. This method, known as ‘perrying ‘, was a testament to human ingenuity and nature’s adaptability, as it allowed farmers to grow pears in areas where they wouldn’t normally thrive.

Today, as Mitch became an adult and began walking the path of his own life, the bottle passed into his hands. He looked at it with the same admiration he had as a child, but now also with an understanding and respect for the tradition and ingenuity of those who had made it possible. The bottle is not just an object to him, but a symbol of his family’s history and the legacy of wonder and curiosity that they had passed down through the generations. Perhaps someday, his son or daughter, with the same look of wonder, will discover the bottle in their father’s bar.

As I handed it to him, he smiled, remembering the spark of curiosity that had defined his childhood. We sat together, and I told him the story of his great-grandfather’s bottle and how a simple object could hold not only a fruit but generations of awe and wonder. I realized then the power of storytelling, how it could breathe life into objects and keep traditions alive, sparking curiosity and wonder in the hearts of those who listened.

And so, with any luck, the bottle with the pear inside will continue its journey, passing from generation to generation, carrying with it the ingenuity of those farmers and the legacy of a family united by wonder and curiosity. Perhaps one day, it will continue to inspire awe and curiosity in those who see it, a testament to the power of human ingenuity and the enduring legacy of wonder.

For Times Media Mexico
José E. Urioste
Merida Yucatan, Mexico
May 29, 2024

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