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The Bullfighter Who Couldn't Face the Bull

When Humanity prevails above all the rest, even tradition.

By Rene Volpi Published 3 months ago 5 min read
The Bullfighter Who Couldn't Face the Bull
Photo by Giovanni Calia on Unsplash

My eyes were hurting with that full sun pounding the arena. That didn't help since it reflected even more light.

People were yelling and screaming at me from all sides.

I felt lost, hurt, and lonely.

I just wanted to go back to the stable, where they keep us to get some shade.

The longer I stood there doing nothing, the crazier the humans seemed to get.

I see through the intense light and heat some of them scurrying around and running in all directions while going nowhere.

Why are these humans running?

Some are wearing clown masks and facing the crowds enticing them to make more noise waving their arms up and down.

Others are going round and round hitting me with sticks.

What have I done?

By Muhammed Zafer Yahsi on Unsplash

The people are standing now, shouting even louder waving their cowboy hats in my direction.

They couldn't fit another spectator up on those stands.

They have all come to see me getting killed. But only after they had some fun, toying with me at first and then raising the drama to the bloody level.

They like when I bleed and they cheer when one of them hurt me.

They want me to get angry and when I don't they are the ones who get upset. I don't comprehend why they do this.

I continue to stand there, feeling sick and very scared.

The heat is extreme now and I need to drink some water.

But none of them gave me any. They just make ugly human faces at me and laugh.

I'm turning trying to find the exit but all I manage to do is rub my skin against the circular fence that goes around as a perimeter.

It's the best I can do to try to find a door as I'm almost blind.

They started to boo very loudly now in disappointing frustration.

I'm supposed to be angry and I'm supposed to attack. That's what they paid for. That's what they want to see.

They brought their little humans with them to witness how a bull gets conquered, overwhelmed, and killed. Then the boos turn to cheers and yays as we, the bulls die slowly under the boiling sun.

I don't want to die. I don't want to chase anybody or hurt anyone.

Why would I?

But with the heat, sweat, and exhaustion, I started to daydream.

I remember the days before my capture grazing peacefully on the green fields on the left of the hill where I was always taken, with all my friends around me.

We had the entire day for ourselves. We had our family with us, including the little ones. It was always fun to watch them as they hopped around as if they were baby lambs. Jumping and hopping, tripping on each other, and running. Always running.

The hills were our home until dark.

By DDP on Unsplash

At dark, the humans protected us against our natural predators by bringing us inside, giving us water, and making sure we were safe.

Such beautiful memories. Going through them made me forget this situation. A much-needed break.


Those humans looked just like these but they lacked the crazy and mean expressions.

The ones from the hills were peaceful. Maybe because they had families so they understood.

What does a dumb bull know?

I know humans can change at a moment's notice. No rhyme or reason. They just do.

What happened for them to change? What have I done?

They're running after me again, trying to get me away from the gates or the fence, or any exit.

One of them stopped and looked into my eyes. For quite a while. I don't know what he thinks he saw but he did the funniest thing.

He came close, touched one of my horns, and just stood there.

After a minute, he walked away.

For a moment I thought he was coming to take me to the stables.

Instead, he threw his hat on the dusty ground of the arena, undid his belt let his whole leather gear drop and just left the circus altogether.

Whistles and jeers followed, shouts and insults, and more angry faces followed him until he disappeared from view.

I feel weak and faint, and by now, scared to death.

Then the horses came. The humans decided they were going to get their way no matter what. And the public was demanding it.

Two of the humans had spiked sticks, one on each hand, a third came forward walking with a bright red cape-shaped material and armed with two swords in his right hand.

They took turns scaring me while hoping they'd make me mad. We were supposed to get mad.

But I wasn't mad, or angry. Not even willing to walk anymore.

I just stood there, my back towards the fence, my only protection.

I can sense my end is near.


By Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

It was stormy in Lima, Peru that morning and lightning made nonstop crackling sounds that made the children run to their parents’ beds for solace.

The bullfighter woke up but was covered in sweat and shaking.

"Oh, my dear God! That was so weird," he told his children, still trembling.

"You came right on time. I had the most horrible dream."

"What was it about, Dad? Please, tell us?"

He didn't respond. Instead, he stretched his arms calling them for a very much needed embrace.

He just whispered slowly, "Shhh…it was a terrible dream, that's all…Stay with me right now. It's ok. It was just a dream."


After that night, he never went back to the arena to kill a bull again.


About the Creator

Rene Volpi

Storyteller by nature since I was a kid, and I entertained everyone with my "expositions". Primitive, childish drawings and doodles, poems and prose that gave me immense pleasure to write. Thankfully, that continued until today. Cheers!

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  • Antoinette L Brey2 months ago

    It makes the sport sound terrible

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