Image via WikipediaExcerpt from the timeless Spanish classic: Lazarillo de Tormes
With Lazarillo the picaresque genre takes off, followed by countless novels narrated in the first person, episodic, and focusing on the trials and tribulations of the narrator. Yet, despite the quantity of picaros--none come close in freshness, humor, and vitality to our Lazaro--from Tormes, Spain.
My widowed mother, finding herself without shelter and without husband, decided to move in with some good people —being good herself— coming to live in the city.
There she rented a little house and began to cook for some students, and to wash clothes for some stable boys who served the Commander of La Magdalena, spending a lot of the time around the stables. Soon she and a dark man —one of those men who took care of the animals— got to know each other.
Sometimes this man would come to our house and wouldn't leave till the next morning. And other times he would come to our door during the day pretending to buy eggs and then he would come inside.
When he first began to come I didn't like him, and was afraid of him because of the color of his skin and his bad looks. But when I saw that with him around we ate better, I began to like him quite a lot. He always brought bread, pieces of meat, and in the winter he brought in firewood so we could keep warm.
NOTE: my translation will soon be available in KINDLE and Nook.