S210 Second-Year Spanish Composition F. Jehle


Tarea: El pretérito


Assignment:


     I made my first trip to Madrid about thirty-five years ago. I went there specifically to see a bullfight. I immediately went straight to the bullring, where I bought a ticket not for a (full-fledged) bullfight, but rather for a novillada (since that was what they would have that Sunday). I also managed to get a poster (which announced the details of the event). Sunday afternoon I returned to the ring, found my seat, and sat down to watch. The clock struck five o'clock, and the spectacle began. First there was a parade. Then a bull entered the arena and ran around for awhile. Some assistants appeared and spent a few minutes testing the animal. After awhile, a picador came out, directed his horse to a side of the ring, and “piked” the bull three times. Next someone inserted three pairs of barbed darts into the back of the young bull. Finally, Pedrín Benjumea —a young matador— walked to the center, dedicated the bull to the audience, and knelt down. At first I refused to look; then I changed my mind and opened my eyes. The bull charged and knocked over the young man. After two or three seconds he got up, raised his hands, and the crowd began to shout and clap. He was stupendous! Later, he killed the bull cleanly and quickly, and the president awarded him the tail and an ear. (The custom is for each matador —and there are usually three— to fight two bulls.) Later, with his second bull, Pedrín started the faena the same way as before; he knelt down, but this time he did it (right) next to the fence. It was very dangerous, but it came off extremely well. The crowd liked him so much that they threw money and other presents to him. At the end of the event, several spectators jumped down into the ring, put Pedrín on their shoulders, and carried him off in victory.
     I saw other bullfights after that and learned more about this Spanish spectacle. However, no matador impressed me as much as Benjumea.


Vocabulary associated with the bullfight:


Fred F. Jehle
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/s210/preteri3.htm