Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lazarillo de Tormes: Translated from the Spanish by Marciano Guerrero (Chapter 1 Part 2 of 3)

Lazarillo de Tormes, à SalamanqueImage by fredpanassac via Flickr
About this time a blind man came by and stayed at the inn. Thinking I would be a good guide for him, he asked my mother if I could serve him, and she said I could. She told him I was the son of a good man who had died in the battle of Gelves for the holy faith. Further, she said she trusted God that I wouldn't turn out any worse a man than my father, begging him to be good to me and to look after me, since an orphan I was now.

To this the blind man responded that he would and that he accepted me not as a servant, but as a son. And so I began to serve and guide my new yet old master.      

After we had been in Salamanca a few days, my master was unhappy with the amount of money he was taking in, and he decided we should leave. So when we were ready to go, I went to see my mother. And with both of us crying she gave me her blessing, saying:

“Son, I know that I'll never see you again. Try to be good, and may God be your guide. I've raised you and given you to a good master; take good care of yourself.”

And then I returned to my master who was waiting for me.   

Soon after we left Salamanca we came to a bridge where at the edge there's a stone statue of an animal that looks like a bull. The blind man ordered me to go up next to the animal, and when I was there he said,

“Lazaro, put your ear next to this bull and you'll hear a great sound inside of it.”

Curious, I simply put my ear next to it, thinking he was telling the truth. And when he felt my head was on the stone, he slammed his fist, knocking my head against that devil of a bull so hard that I felt the pain from its horns for three days. And he said to me,

“You, moron! Pull your head out of your ass and learn that a blind man's servant always has to run one step ahead of the devil.”

And he laughed out loud at his joke.

It seemed to me that at that very instant I woke up from my sleepy childlike innocence, saying to myself,
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