Friday, April 1, 2011

El Dolor Del Viejo Campeón (1928)

This victory disabled Talisain forever. The muscles healed in a short time, but the champion became but a lame cock incapable of confronting even an unexperienced cock. The owner gave him as a gift to Teniente Botoy, his trainer, who thinking that he could still make Talisain useful, set him free in a barnyard to see whether he could father a worthy heir to his warlike deeds.
            But the hens of that chicken coop made fun of the lameness of Talisain. They did not know of his deeds as an ex-champion and made him the butt of jokes. To top all his misfortunes, the hens of the barnyard did not even look at him preferring the fresh handsomeness of the two-year old cocks that courted them.
             Talisain felt very lonely and neglected. Nobody in that barnyard knew that he was a champion although he had lost his status as one. Nobody loved him, nobody understood  him. Even the young roosters who were starting to grow their crest and liven the early mornings with their early warlike crowing sometimes dared to challenge him, sure that even if their daring could be punished, they could get free of his spurs just by running away.
            One day he planned to astonish the tribe. With great fuss he called the hens. They responded thinking that the old champion had found some corn and wanted to give it to them. When he had them around him, he opened his beak and let go a vibrant, lengthy, fiery crowing, as fierce as his crowing during his triumphant days.
            The hens looked at him with astonishment. Then, sure of his supremacy, he began narrating his deeds.
            It was the greatest error of his life. The hens ---who in the feminine art of making fun are certainly consummate teachers --- feigned listening to him. Afterwards, they told the stories twisting them as they saw fit, to the attractive young roosters of the barnyard. The effect was immediate.  The proudest cock went to challenge him, and beat Talisain with so much spur that had not the trainer interfered, his life would have ended there.

Antonio M. Abad
La Defensa, Manila
15 de agosto 1925

Link to Spanish Version