The first rays of the day were getting ready to lighten the celestial firmament, spreading sparkling diamonds of frosty drops of morning mixed with dark shadows over the flowering trees.
My owner, was a soft-mannered and honey-sweet looking, wearing a corduroy suit - always smelling aged olive oil , to go together with his grayish hair .
At that time of the day, he Invariably would remove the padlock from the stable gate wearing his smile extended from ear to ear, erasing the detail of his aquiline nose.
unfailingly, he opened the gate with a straw in his mouth, saying:
Hello Clark! - he called me, despite the fact test I have never known his name
· I came to see you earlier today. Look at the sun that wants to appear on the horizon .
After repeating that, like every morning, he put his bucket of water smelling lemon disinfectant on the floor.
On the sequence , he used to whistle while closing the gate, so I could wag my tail in the same rhythm.
However, that particular morning looked a little bit awkward.
I felt that there was something different .
So, I began to review the routine, such as the sun, his tilted hat, the bucket, his whistle,
Everything was still there, intact.
So… what was it?
(I started to look and to sniff the breeze like a dog, wagging my tail from one side to the other - not only to scare away the flies that were chasing me at all times, but also to relieve the stress that the doubt caused me, well, I do not smoke.
· What's up Clark ? – he asked me, rubbing the lemon-smelling disinfectant on the floor- I hate lemon! That smell mortifies me!
- I see you somewhat disturbed ...
· What did you say? - I looked at him seriously, warning him that he could, very well, knock him down with just one kick.
· I think I'm going to give you a little shower, friend, you suck!
(That was a lot of offense! Or what did he want? A bull with the perfume of flowers?
Much daring! )
· Well, all this has a reason for being, because we are going out today.
· (Go out? No wonder you want to clean me up and perfume me. Don't you want to sell me? Yes? Or no? - Doubt began to fill Clark's thoughts, an ox weighing more than five hundred kilos, short horns but pointed enough to skewer any unsuspecting bullfighter in life, killing him - I think I'll go with you, sir, but on the condition that you don't make me work. Today is Sunday and work is against ecclesiastical law.)
And my master effectively washed me with a hose, and then brushed my fur, let's say, "on exactly every hair cell you have, and absolutely nothing can be left behind, because we will not be able to return home or register him for the next competition", as he would say,
· (Selling? Competition? What is this guy talking about? Is he somehow wanting to make money off my expense? Horrible! I'm not going to allow it! I refuse to participate in anything similar to gambling. I washed and perfumed myself, because that is where my goodwill goes).
After finishing the job of cleaning the barn, grooming myself and feeding myself, slowly some oil passed on my somewhat grayish coat - before black, but age and those things ...
Nice and fluffy, I saw that I only needed a red ribbon to resemble a gift.
What would it be for? - The question made me think in several directions, without stopping in any of them, and inevitably creating the uncertainty of the omnipresent suspicion:
I'm sure it's going to make me fight with another bull, or a bullfighter, which is
death itself, so I cannot stand it!
Therefore I must protect myself at any place.
Thus, my most worthy master and friend, he led me to a carriage where he climbed on, and I was pulling it like a horse.
So, using my intelligence, I began to memorize everything that happened:
First, we left the barn, we went to the countryside, filled with people and baskets, the paella smell, wine bottles, tablecloth, ,
The children, innocently scampered from one to the other side, playing with balls.
Everything looked to be perfect, so, what would all this be?
Air flow from my nostrils.
However, and putting the pieces of the puzzle together, my understanding was enlightened, and, as if by work of a miracle, I deduced :.
Of course it is !
Take a look at the smiling faces!
And how about the music band ?
It must be - I said, a bit relaxed now.
As the wagon where the man had installed me, I realized that there were many people but many people on the road that skirted the place of the grove, next to the village where I met you and we became friends, do you remember ?
· I think so. I was accompanied by Mrs. . Hen, who got on my back and asked me for a ride to the chicken coop, where her husband, Don Gallo, had his crest raised.
· Today is a holiday, Clark.
· It seems. The people are very happy, shouting:
· Long live the bull ! - People shouted, with red scarves in their hands, waiting for a race.
A few more of them booed me as they watched me go by.
Others applauded me, sit on the stony and herby road, full of potholes and pools of standing water, - the ones that were not really very tasty, but they did serve to calm one of my stomachs, always hungry.
The sun warmed my ears and my tail.
Ears and tail?
Now I do remember! I have heard that they take out the ears and the tail of bulls in those competitions, the bullfights
Suddenly, I had the idea that they were going to want to sacrifice themselves, pulling out mud ears and my tail.
The heat of the sun began to make me sweat, at the simple thought that I might die at the hands of that good man, who was so kind to me, giving me food and taking me out for a walk.
He couldn't understand how men could be so cruel and bloody.
They are animals! I thought, realizing
that the road was becoming narrow and that people seemed to be increasing, concentrated on something that was to be a construction, or perhaps, an arena.
· Bullfight! It was the only thing I could think about and that repetitive thought that took over my animal mind but rational, you make me suffer.
Feel the smell of my blood, spilled on the floor.
As if involved in someone else's business, people looked at me with a steak face.
Is my end! - I said it between sobs and sobs, crestfallen with what according to my hormones defined as a betrayal against all the trust placed in my master.
Suddenly, he gives a strong tug on the straps that tied me to the cart.
- Stop – he asked, flirting with beautiful girls passing by.
At that, I turned my gaze and I could see that there were other wagons ahead of me, and behind as well.
Two bulls and wild cows wore necklaces with flowers on their necks, their bodies painted in various colors, earrings of pineapple slices in their ears, red painted muzzles - a shame…
- But the religious hymns coming from a music band made me think we were getting into the heaven, and all angels were dignified with pots of food that humans eat, that is, rice, noodles, that so called paella seafood (argh!) , fruits – I love them all – sold by women dressed in black costumes and black veils , suitable for the bullfighting costumes hung in tents built in the alley.
Joy and happiness filled the place, making me forget that my life was at stake
I could not say if it was exactly then that my master guided me, slowly, towards the back of the arena.
"This is where we go in," he told me, smoothing my forehead, undone by the heat of noon.
We continue along a narrow path, full of stones and bushes
Therefore, the lord, from the top of his gray hair, warns me:
- do not be afraid! - stroking my back very gently.
(I didn't get it. It's really hard to understand an unknowable message like that.
We took a few more steps.
And we come to a type of fence, an entrance, full of oxen, wild cows, calves, sheep, chickens, ducks, pigs
What are all these animals doing here?
I frowned my forehead, in misunderstanding, again
( why is it so hard to understand humans ?).
In that exactly moment, a fat gentleman comes out, with mustaches and thick eyebrows carrying a cane in his hand, that man begins to distribute some tokens to the owners of those animals.
And he wrote indecipherable things in a notebook.
The other man, answered, writing....numbers!
I kept observing everything, as my master smiled at some pretty girls in flowered dresses and hair blowing in the wind.
What is all this?
It is when, I realized that the animals entered that place, together with their owners.
And the line advanced in great strides.
When we walked in I realized how wrong I was: It was an animal fair, where all the animals of the province were exposed, among amenities that I could not laugh like people used to do.
That detail.showed me that I was wrong, because I saw my real nature.
For a moment , I could almost laugh, satisfied .
Jose ! - was the name I heard coming from the megaphone - Jose Sánchez
And, trembling, I saw that this man who had been taking care of me all that time, given food, talked to me just when he needed him most — or did he need me? -raise his shy hand, the one he raised to indicate presence.
For my part, I could only look at him out of the corner of my eye, and I saw him in dismay, because, in reality, he had never treated me badly, which put me at an even greater disadvantage considering my wrong ideas about him.
However, and despite his simplicity reflected in his eternal light corduroy overalls - and, to top it all, we were in winter! , - or his mouth without teeth and without shame to say that he had no teeth to eat, and, even so, he had been faithful to me, he had respected my life before earning money or any other benefit in the name of a wrong tradition - or that I believe it.
It is precisely when I realized that I really personified the sense of laughter full of joy and joy that anyone feels when having it.
And on that afternoon with a lot of sun, and many people crowded in that not so wide space, taking in consideration my nature, a miserable bull that have been despised by many humans not so fond of animal creatures, I seemed to hear a name being uttered from a megaphone installed in the branch from a tree three cubits above my head:
José, and my owner turned his head on that voice, to check who was calling him.
It was him.
I repeated his name many times in my normally empty head and full of feelings engraved in my memory also hollow: Jose, Jose, Jose.
So, that was his name ! I am clumsy because I have never asked him his name…
Glorified by the discovery, I sat down.
Next to him.
He invited me some slices of apple and pineapple that had been given to him on the way.
However, a man standing under the shade of a crab apple tree, asked, pointing at me:
- how much?
-Hundred thousand - answered the old man, to which my heart wanted to go out through my snout, because every bull knows that, if a human wants to sell you, he will do it, even having to go through family or friendship.
- no way ! - I said, heart broken
But, more out of shame than strength, I kept her in my eye again.
(I must be strong! Besides, I hope he doesn't have money! Let him be discouraged and go buy a chicken even if it is!
I hope I say that I am a fat, bald old man! Yes! - I begged, putting in mu all the defects that were in the world, in a clear demonstration of attachment to that my master who did not take me to kill, and who had not offered me to that interested man with an ugly face, ugly ugly. Period! )
The interested one passed his hand on my back, on my horns, looking at my snout and even my teeth.
He gave me a complete physical exam!
And I, I only observed his rough gestures and his clothes a bit, let's say, old, his soft straw hat.
- do not! I thought firmly, rummaging a bit
"Well," he said, "can the price be negotiated?"
- Are you asking for a discount? - And he turned his gaze to me.
- I believe that…
‘Look, I would gladly do it but I do not think I can really do it – caressing my head, in order not to complete the sentence.
(Would my master also be afraid of loneliness, like me? Would he be attached to me?)
Not knowing what else to say, he put on and took off his hat twice, looking for time and words to fill the void of the moment.
Seeing his indecision, the interested party simply wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his plaid shirt - to buy time, of course.
Until in the infinite course of the moment, he said:
That old brave man looked at me, measuring my ears with his fingers and my tail as well - putting his hand square in the air.
"Little one!" He said, without any syntactic analysis or orthodontic root.
- But, thanks, again - fixing his head turf.
And he left, no more and no less.
The only possible conclusion would be that, obviously, that interested party did not love me!
Grateful for that "no", I set my eyes on the Master with a certain sweetness, something uncertain for my species.
And I bent over so that my Master put the collar yoke on me, to go home.
Respectfully and slowly, I showed him my respect.
I respect my lord and master.
Therefore, we joined the pilgrimage of San Isidro, since he had seen the saint arrive at the place.
All the people ran after his image, so much so that they didn't even remember that I was a bull, because they told me things like:
- come on son!
- let's pray!
Truth be told, I had never learned to pray.
He did not know what it meant, nor did he have a notion of its meaning.
But the devotion of those people who walked next to the ethereal image of the holy farmer with a sweet look to illuminate the pineapple drying places that were around the hamlet of the county..
Little by little, those present of all ages gathered in that place.
There were more than three hundred and fifty people!
Until the arrived, along with deacons, and a group of well-dressed altar boys
They gathered on the platform in the center of town, next to the pineapple drying area.
An altar was installed in that place, where all the people sat on the floor, and began to listen to the mass, prayed in Latin.
Obviously, it wax so hard to understand a thing they were saying.
I only learned to feel what a human feels, when he is close to his faith: a great joy invading each one of us, illuminating all faces, including mine, which, for the first time, was putting itself in the place of humans.
It was no longer a wild beast.
And my lord, he became a man.