Vol. 10


The Hero of Vega Baja

c. 1898; Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

During the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the Americans invaded Vega Baja, a small town on the island of Puerto Rico. My great-great-grandparents lived and worked in Vega Baja. They had twelve children and loved the relaxing atmosphere in the little town. My great-great-grandpa worked at the school as the principal. He finished his work and dashed home from a tiring day at work. He dropped his briefcase on the ground, flung his hat off his head, and plopped down into a nice, comfy chair in exhaustion, waiting for his children to return home from school.

On the sunny, warm day in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, my great-great-grandparents were sitting at home talking about their day when their children arrived home. All of them slumped down in chairs and on the sofa, relieved because the hard school day was over. That’s when they heard loud, terrifying sirens and knew that something was wrong. They were being invaded by the Americans.

My great-great-grandparents grabbed their children and scrambled down the stairs into the cold, dark basement. They leaned in close, lowering their voices to a whisper, and said, “Be quiet — the giants are coming!” The Puerto Ricans named the Americans “the giants” because the Americans were very tall compared to the Puerto Rican people.

My great-great-grandpa was the only person in the town who knew how to speak English. He knew he needed to do something to help the people of Vega Baja. He stomped up the stairs, marched out the door, and went to talk to the giant American soldiers. He was able to convince the Americans to leave the town. He saved everyone in the town by talking to the soldiers, and he prevented anyone from being hurt or killed!

After the war ended, Puerto Rico became a possession of the United States of America. My grandma moved to the United States as an adult and has remained here. Whenever she tells this story, she can imagine how terrifying the experience was for her family. She is very proud to be the granddaughter of the hero of Vega Baja.

Ashley A. Werdes; Missouri, USA


This copyrighted story may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


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