By Leopoldo Alas English Version
They were three-always the same three- Rosa, Pinin and La Cordera. The meadow Samonte was a triangular patch of velvety green spread out like a carpet at the foot of the hill. Its lower angle extended as far as the railway track from Oviedo to Gijon; and a telegraph post, flying flagpole in the corner of the field, represented to Rosa and Pinin the world without- a world unknown, mysterious, and forever to be dreaded and ignored. Pinin, after seriously considering the subject as he watched from day to day this tranquil and inoffensive post, finally came to the conclusion that the telegraph post was trying its best to be simply a friendly tree, nothing more, and to give the impression that its glass cups were some strange fruit; soon he gained sufficient confidence to climb up almost to the wires. He never went as far as the cups, for they reminded him too strongly of some of the scared vessels in the church, and he was able to shake off a feeling of awe only when he had slid down again and planted his feet safely on the green sod. Rosa, less audacious but more enamored of the unknown, contented herself with sitting beneath the telegraph post for hours at a time and listening to the wind as it drew a weird metallic song from the wires and mingled it with sighs from the heart of the pine. At times these vibrations seemed to be music , and then again to Rosa they were whispers traveling along the wires from an unknown to an unknown. She had no curiosity to learn what people on opposite of the sides of the world were saying to one another. It mattered nothing to her; she only listened to the sound of its melody and mystery. La Cordera, having lived to a mature age, was more matter-of-fact than her companions. She held aloof from contact with the world and contemplated the telegraph pole from a purely an inanimate of no use except to rub against. La Codera was a cow who had seen much of life, and for hours together she lay in the meadow passing her time meditating rather the feeling enjoying the tranquility of life., the gray sky, the peaceful earth, and seeking ti improve her mind. She joined in the games of the children, whose duty it was to guard her, and had she been able, she would have smiled at the idea that Rosa and Pinin were charged with her care-she,, La Cordera!with keeping her the railway track. Just as she would be inclined to jump! Why should meddle with the railway track? It was her pleasure to graze quietly, selecting with care the choicest morsels without raising her head to look about in idle curiosity, and after that to lie down either to meditate or else to taste the delights of simply not suffering; just to exist-that was all she cared to do; other things were dangerous undertakings. Her peace of mind had only been disturbed at the inauguration of the railway, when she had become almost beside herself with terror at seeing the first train pass. She had jumped the stone wall before the neighboring field and joined the other cattle in their wild antics; and her fear had lasted for several days, recurring with more or less violence every time the engine appeared at the mouth of the tunnel. Little by little she realized that the train was harmless, a peril which always passed by, a catastrophe which threatened but did not strike. She therefore reduced her precautions and ceased to put herself on the defensive by lowering her head. Later on she gazed at the train without even getting up and ended by entirely losing her antipathy and distrust and not looking at it at all. In Rosa and Pinin the novelty of the railway produced impressions much more agreeable. In the beginning it brought excitement mixed with superstitious dead; the children danced wildly about and gave vent to loud shrieks. Then there came a kind of quiet diversions, repeated several times a day as they watched the huge iron snake glide rapidly by, with its burden of strange people. But the railway...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document