Let me tell you a story. Now please, don’t interrupt me and don’t ask anything until I finish.
It was a hot summer day, much like this one. The sun was in the zenith and it was extremely hot. I was coming back home from work, and not knowing, I passed near the village tavern. There was a crowd of people in front of it. Nasty bunch. Always there, no matter if it’s morning, afternoon or deep in the night. Then a man came out of the tavern, yelling so hard his voice almost made the tavern crumble down. He went around and took his horse and cart. Worst looking horse I’ve ever seen in my life, and I have seen a lot, I can tell you this. About twenty years did that horse had, ribs countin’, skin like the bottom of my shoe, several bleeding wounds. I almost felt sorry for it. Anyway, the guy took out a whip and started beating the poor animal. You could clearly see he was deep into the bottle. He jumped on the cart and started yelling frantically again.
- Come on, I’ll take ya to the city! All of ya!
- Who are you kidding? That thing? It can barely walk.
- Once I’m done with him, he’ll run a gallop!
The crowd bursted into laughter. The man got agitated by this, and he yelled louder than all of them together, constantly beating the horse. Several men climbed on the cart.
- More! It can take even more!
A woman, mid-aged and, shall we say, “elegantly filled”, decided to make them company. The party was turning into a riot. Many were watching from the sides, but no one did anything. Such scenes were common back then. Several men joined in the beating, hitting the poor creature from all sides. A barrage of blows was raining on the horse’s head. Everyone was screaming, either from horror or excitement. Then he came.
No one really knew him ‘till that day. But, no one really tried to know him. He was one of them strong, silent type. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes.
None anticipated what he did. All they saw on his face was rage. He jumped, bounced off lightly off the horses’ back and punched the man so hard, he would have flown out of the village. Instead, he hit in the men on the cart and they all fell down on the ground. Only the woman was unharmed, but when he looked at her, she came down faster than a fox chased by a dozen of blood hounds. He also jumped down and started to unstrap the horse. The owner soon came to his senses. When he saw what he was doing with his horse, his face turned red from anger. He took out a fat staff, heavily coated with blood, evidently from the animal, and ran to hit the man. The other one, the one who cared about the horse, caught the incoming blow, and with one spinning move broke it in two and smashed it off the owner’s head. The guy yelled:
- Let go of my horse!
- Why, so that you kill him?
- It’s my horse, I’ll do to it whatever I want.
- Not anymore.
He threw a gold coin in front of the owner’s feet and continued to untie the horse. The owner was shaking with rage, and attacked again. The young man hit him again, directly in the nose, sending him ten feet back and placing him comfortably in an old barrel meant for collecting rain. The horse collapsed as soon it was freed. The man kneeled near him, stroking this neck, whispering something in his ear. How do I know this? I was there, remember. Anyway, the horse stood up and limping went with the man home. I am not lying! What?! Fine, go on then, leave me. Get lost. Last time I ever tell you anything.