Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A converted Spanish monastery in the town of Guadalupe, Spain served as one of my bed-and-breakfast locations during my August, 2005 excursion.

Preparing for Mass at the Monastery Chapel

One evening when I had some time on my hands I went for a walk about the little town. As I rounded the corner of a side street I saw a crowd up ahead, shouting and cheering. I approached with great curiosity, then climbed onto the bed of a pickup to get a better view.

The locals had had cordoned off a plaza in the middle of the town with portable gates and various odds and ends. In the center of the plaza was a tall fountain and an unhappy bull.

The bull was unhappy because townsmen would run into the makeshift arena to get the bull to charge, then run away and diving back into the crowd (once a crowd of men escaped into the fountain and climbed up the statue). One fellow performed an original stunt: he took a chair into the arena and stood on top of it; when the bull charged, the chap leaped over the bull as it ran beneath him and claimed the chair.

A friend on the scene explained to me that all this was done to tire the bull; afterwards, the locals would take the animal away, break its neck, and carve it up for a town feast.

I'm not aware of any Spanish heritage among my ancestors; that could be why the childhood admonition to not play with one's food came to mind.

1 comment:

Rose Blue said...

Thank you for a very good laugh!