Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Arturo Souto Alabarce
Summary: Herder Juan roamed the desert looking for his cattle. He branded the calves. His enemies were coyotes who killed and ate the calves. One coyote in particular, Coyote 13, who bayed the moon as if daring Juan the Herder to try to come and get him.
One day, Juan the Herder found Coyote 13. Parched, dying of thirst. But defiant as ever. Juan the Herder raised his rifle. And then in spite of his hatred of Coyote 13, he fired the rifle into the air, went to collect some water for the thirsty animal, left it when it would not drink in the presence of its enemy and Coyote 13 lived and killed cattle for many more years.
Juan the Herder was like Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, single-minded. But Juan the Herder realized that with his enemy dead, his purpose in life was ended. So he let his enemy live. The setting of the desert waste is vividly depicted.
Spanish Stories and Tales. Ed. By Harriet de Onís. The Pocket Library, 1956.