Setting a bull’s horns aflame is apparently business-as-usual in some parts of Spain. Actually, a wax ball is attached to sticks, which are attached to the horns, and lighted before sending the animal out to delight, and/or gore festival goers – giving a sparkler-type affect. A man died in in the small town of Navajas, Spain this past week from the goring of a flaming-horned bull. I shudder when I think of bull fights. To say I do not like them is an understatement. Here’s my story:
I was among the guests of a Spanish sparkling wine maker in Spain for a week-long sales meeting. While there, we toured a Spanish brandy company an were taken to it’s private bull farm, where “matadors” are trained. We were treated to a bull fight. The matador was a famous Spanish soccer player.
On the floor of the ring there was a curved wall where, for some reason, people could stand behind it somewhat protected. Probably there since the fighters were in training. Three American men had the honor of standing behind or to the side of the wall to watch. The rest of us were in the stands above. The handsome soccer player entered the ring with his red cape. This wasn’t his first fight. He was a part of the entertainment for the day, which also included Spanish dancers that evening.
The bull was let into the ring and did that bull-thing, stamping feet and clawing the ground – snorting and dead-eyeing the soccer player. He was the classic bull, and he gave us a good show before he made for the soccer-matador. As he pounded toward the matador he ignored the intriguing red cape and gored the man in the shoulder with one powerful lunge, knocking him to the ground. The man couldn’t get up. The bull turned, went to the far end of the ring and then charged again. No one came to the downed man’s aid, and remember, this wasn’t a professional fight with people purchasing tickets for the event. It was entertainment for the visiting Americans.
Instead the Americans entertained. The three men ran to the aid of the bull fighter, one drawing the attention of the animal and two others dragging the injured man to safety. Not a Spaniard in sight until it was all over.
As our men came out into the ring, there was total silence, following cries of fear as we could see the bull on the charge again. It was silence in slow motion with a faraway, small voice calling to the bull, dancing without a cape, saving a man’s life.
The soccer player had a wound and a broken collar bone. He came to the dinner that evening where he planned to dance with the dancers. With his injuries, that didn’t happen but the three American men were treated like heroes – wine wholesalers and retailers they were, but heroes indeed. It was a proud day for America.