Juan fell over face first in the tracks, ripping open his mouth. He lay there in the dirt and the rocks, spitting blood and dust. When he looked up, he could see the train getting smaller and smaller in the horizon. Tears welled up in his eyes. Eduardo stood up and laughed at Juan. “Why are you laughing?” said Juan. “There goes your family. There goes my family, and we’re never going to see them again!” Eduardo turned to walk away. “Pendejo!” he said. “My aunt and uncle live here in Leon. I can always stay with them and catch the next train.” He left Juan lying there in the dust and the blood.
Little Juan stood up. He dusted himself off. He looked around at the vast desert all around him, and did the only thing he knew to do. Catch that train. He ran. He ran, and he ran. He stopped to rest and saw that his feet were swollen and cracked and bleeding. But he kept running, running, and running. Then he walked for a while. His grandfather had taught him how to survive in the desert by eating the fruit of the cactus, which is a purplish color, and looks like a small heart shaped fig. When Juan found the fruit of the cactus, he picked it off and ate some and put the rest in his pocket. He spent a cold night in the desert and threw rocks at a mountain lion to keep it away.