El alma

del mundo.

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The handle of the knife was the sinewy and slender foot of a suckling, with two metal inlays to hold the blade. When he cut the jugular of the he-goat and it began to bleed, its eyes became angry like those of a suckling being weaned. The whitish corneas lost all notion of the surroundings. They vainly tried to find a support for the cleared head and for the first time the weight of its horned crown was a condemnation rather than a blessing. It could not see its own vital fluid flowing down the drain, nor hear the bleating in the fold of those awaiting the same fate as it. It felt the cold metal of eighty million blades as the net was cut under its feet.

For the past eighteen dawns, he had seen the sky dyed red and hundreds of lambs voluntarily go to the slaughterhouse. He had heard the small hooves striking the ground and approaching. The knives were sharp and he was prepared to sacrifice all of them to continue attacking alone. Their meat would continue to dry out and their horns break into bits and some day one of their kids, heir to the beauty, would be the dominant male. Until then, no snout would appear in his drinking trough, nor kid would eat his straw. When he felt as naked as a lamb in the Eid, he understood that he had been sacrificed. Arrogance, indolence, bile were there to be seen beneath his skin.

The satiated stomach contracted and distended. His eyes no longer saw, but only intuited an enormous red sea. A warm and welcoming spot where he imagined he could close his eyes and rest. It also seemed to him that young blood was on the neck of other men he didn’t recognise. New kids. He felt as though a million feet were stomping on his face. Indignant, he let himself be carried away without yet grasping how for 29 years he could have confused lions for lambs.

by Nuria tesón