Two Boys in a Hippo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I came to this country inside a piñata in the back of a truck with seven other illegal aliens. Barely five years old, I was stuffed in a hippo-shaped piñata for 17 hours with my brother, hoping and dreaming for a better life in America.

When we finally emerged from the hippo we breathed Northern California air. At first I thought I was back in Mexico, but I was in a strawberry field. My brother had already found us work and we worked in the fields for the next year. When I was eight my brother stole a car and we ended up getting into a crash. My brother snuck me out of the hospital because we were illegal and didn't want to get caught and sent back to Mexico.

Things were still bad financially so I resorted to robbing a house, but they caught me and beat me up after I stabbed one of the residents in the chest with a fork. The police detained me and I was incarcerated for a year and then released to my brother. My brother was selling drugs and stuff, and I continued to get in trouble, ending up in a gang. After a while I got locked up for a gang-related assault. Life in America became something totally different than what I thought it was going to be.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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