The Indian and the Hundred Cows

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The Indian and the Hundred Cows
This short story by Anaya contains a strong message, description and dialogue to emphasize the faith people live by and the paradox and saying something you do not mean. The Indian teaches the priest a lesson by doing exactly what is expected from a true believer.

The message of the whole short story is that of what a true believer does to keep believing. Church, mass, the day dedicated to the creator, are all examples of what most of the people do every Sunday; or at least what is expected. So, it happens that this Indian out of all the people at church took the priests’ lecture “You know that when you make a donation to God, He returns it…” literally. What the literal people do not know is that it is symbolic. The Indian took his only cow and gave to the priest expecting 100 cows in return. The thing is that the message behind the “giving” is that you have to work hard and with the help of God you will obtain the cows, eventually.

This short story also caries a lot of description. The description of the bows and arrow, the action of the priest, the vaqueros, and the Indian described makes the reader want to keep reading. For example the image of the Indian giving his cow to the priest and the priest there after putting the cow in his own corral. The Indian building his own corral for the 100 cows he is expecting. The Indian gathering his 100 cows and placing them in his corral. It is interesting the visual of the priest being angry and the action of the Indian with his bow and quiver. This also follows up to the message interpretation; the priest fought for his cows the same way that the Indian did.

Dialogue was one of the key devices used by Anaya to inform the reader the actions of the characters and their true feelings. The short story focused on faith and believers; so when the priest said “have faith in God and He will repay your gift” makes the reader know where this Indian is getting his thoughts from. It...
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