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The Bull and Mom

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The running of the bulls in Pamplona

The running of the bulls in Pamplona

It have been raining. The floor was slippery and that was dangerous. The street, packed with people watching the running of the bulls. It was Sunday.

Javier was a young man but a veteran runner. He didn’t like to run on Sundays because of the amount of people who make the run more difficult. Is almost impossible to find a place near the bulls to run and is dangerous because is easy to stumble and fall.

But that year he had no other chance because he had a job in Madrid and couldn’t come to Pamplona any other day. So he decided to run.

And there he was in Estafeta Street like always, waiting for the bulls, adrenalin boiling in his body as the beasts approached. And he jumped into the center of the street to situate himself in front of the horns.

When he decided it was enough to retire, he counted and realized one bull was missing so he tried to jump behind the barricades to avoid another run. But there were so many people that they didn’t make room for him.

The theory says that if you lay still like a sand bag, the bull will ignore you. So Javier, rejected by the people, unable to reach the safety of the barricade, decided to lay on the floor glued to the wall of stone of one of the houses and wait to the bull to pass, but with the bad luck that the bull slipped and fell looking at him. He felt the breathing of the bull and thought: Javier, you are history.

The bull charged against him, lifted him and throw him once. Javier, trapped between the bull and the wall,  acted as a sand bag and fell like a dead weight. the bull charged another time, and another, and another, and Javier acted according to the theory…until the eight time. Then the theory was enough for him and he began to fight kicking the nose of the bull until the beast moved its huge head and Javier saw a little space to escape running.

Everybody in the Hospital emergency room was waiting for him thinking in the worst possibilities.

– Leave me alone! I want to go home!, was the only thing he was saying at the arrival at the hospital. He looked surprisingly well.

His friend Francisco, From Madrid, with Javier’s sneakers on his hands, in the waiting room was the one who looked really sick. He was so impressed by what happened he needed assistance.

Half an hour after he enter the hospital Javier was able to go home. He was OK! Only some bruises by the sides of the horns and the blows against the wall and the floor, nothing more.

He went home in bad shape. His white shirt torn up, his clothes dirty and walking with the help of his friend Francisco. He rang the door’s bell. And when his mother opened the door and saw him said:

– And the loaf of bread? Didn’t I tell you to buy the loaf of bread before you come back home? You always having fun out there and the only thing I ask you to do for me, you forget.

– But Mom…

– And where have you been? How are you so dirty? surly drinking with your friends. Who knows what….

– Mom, you didn’t watch the running of the bulls at TV this morning did you?

——

PS. This story is real. It happened many years ago. I Asked Javier if he would run again and he answered that being charged by a bull eight times and not wounded by the horns is a miracle, a miracle by San Fermín. He said miracles don’t happen often so he probably wouldn’t. Javier’s mom wouldn’t watch the video so impressed she was when they told her the story of his son and the bull charging against him eight times without wounding him.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Medicine.

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Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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