David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

Jornalismo Cultural

Tony the cowboy

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The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around

cowboy

Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse (Art: Amanda Kate)

Tony opened his eyes, sat on the bed and watched the billowy and reddish sky through the window on the Sunday morning. He was surprised by the silence of the rooster, but did not care. He got up and walked toward the sink in the corner of the room. He washed his face, moistened his hair, fixed his beard with his fingertips, and kept his hair down while the water was flowing. “I think that this day doesn’t want to show up. The sun seems to be a stubborn. Who is to blame? I have no clue!”, he said scratching his muscular chest.

Tony wore jeans and a blue shirt. He polished the sparkling bucket bringing the T letter highlighted and put on a pair of high boots. Before leaving for work, Tony straightened the hat on his head, prepared the coffee, looked for a mug, and wiped his beard with the back of his hand. “Now I’m ready”, he said smiling, slapping soles on the parquet floor and seeing his reflection in the mirror hanging on a nail.

Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse. He prepared the saddle, climbed onto the animal’s back, and rode toward the meadow. In the early hours of the morning, without blowing his horn and getting assistance, the young mestizo of caucasian and kaiowá origin brought together more than a thousand oxen. He started to sing “Cabirúchichi”, a song that talks about the renewal of human love for animals after 30 days of tempests and thunderstorms.

– The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around. Today is the day, my friends!

The cattle understood Tony’s words.  Whenever he finished his song and his speech, they watched with attention and complacency. And the silence of seconds was overshadowed by a skyward bellowing chorus. The oxen’s reaction vibrated the meadow and shook the grass. That was the cowboy’s life for over 10 years, and lately his way to treat animals began to cause estrangement with his workmates. During the traditional crossing of the Saint Lucy Stream, he comforted the cattle as a psychologist or psychiatrist attending to a patient.

– Don’t be sad, Ruffian. You can! Look at you, man! Handsome and so strong. See how many of your friends are waiting for you to cross the stream. They respect you and follow you. Come on! Trust me. Please!

Hesitantly, and keeping the hooves on the bank of the creek, Ruffian attended to the Tony’s request. The crossing of Saint Lucy always frightened the cattle because it was part of the final route before confinement, followed by slaughter. They felt that the worst was to come. Across the creek, the cattle grazed plaintively, as if following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. No ox wanted to see nothing, but the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned.

Across the creek, cattle grazed plaintive, like following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. None of the oxen wanted to see anyting beyond the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned. Some of the animals supported their heads on their closest companions, believing that this would protect them and keep them away from death. Tired, they mooed softly until it disappeared into the sunny horizon and never were seen in that prairie.

One week later, Tony jumped into the Guararema Creek to save a baby calf, Ruffian’s son, dragged by the current. When he came out of the water with the trembling and moaning baby calf in his arms, he noticed three men waiting for him, sittting on the grass and smoking haystack. One of them, Cambuci, the eldest, stopped drilling the ground with a dark knife’s blade and said:

– We see that you’re different now, Tony. You stopped eating meat and eggs, and drinking milk. And began to treat animals like people. So far so good! I have nothing to do with your foolishness. Now what you did was too much. The boss heard everything and said this isn’t right. You betrayed his trust and need to pay.

Tony put the baby calf on the grass, patted his back and the animal ran away.

– Do what you have to do, but you should know that tomorrow’s world will not be the same as today, regardless of your will or the boss’s will. The land bleeds with the animals. You will say you never noticed? Look what it turned into here. This burned field, punished for more than 100 days of drought.

As he spoke, he received five bullets in the chest and lay on the creek’s bank. Without replicating, the three gunmen disguised as cowboys turned and left. Tony did not cry, scream or moan. He noted the sky more clearly than ever and felt a small amount of water caressing his ears and massaging his hair. Also, he saw the Ruffian’s son struggling to push his body out of the water with his head.

The baby calf groaned and made an extraordinary effort. Suddenly, a long stream of blood flowed from Tony’s mouth and mixed with water, following the stream as if it had life. “Follow the blood, follow the blood, follow the blood …” he repeated before he passed away. The baby calf was carried away by the Guararema and went with the flow, being dragged for miles.

Dazed and weakened, he was held by a sandbar. There, he lay crying. Within minutes, the baby calf heard a bellowing beyond the hose. It was his father, Ruffian, restless, trying to cross the fence. Surprised and thrilled, Mirela, Tony’s girlfriend, approached and asked two young men to carry the calf. Baptized as Obajara, that was the first day of the young survivor in the underground Sanctuary, Parassú, where Tony sent hundreds of animals in recent months.

Written by David Arioch

December 7th, 2016 at 11:36 pm

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