El riesgo / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     The orchids were cultivated amidst the fever, on trees covered with parasites and corroded by ants. The sun multiplied the resources of the humid soil and animated a harmless vegetation, hiding place for perfidious animals. I distinguished amid the darkness of the thicket the phosphorescent eyes of wild animals.

     I dismissed the danger and climbed with determination the steps of a broken pyramid, dissembled amid the jungle.

     An eagle, enemy of terrestrial bugs and dragons, had posed on a granite mask, of excessive proportions and hollow eyes, destitute of eyelids. It was reminiscent of the obvious and direct glare of certain monsters of nature. The granite mask, embellished with a few adornments, would have equaled exactly the image of a princess from the time of the Pharaohs, surrounded by lunatic admirers in a museum in Europe.

     The presence of the eagle was enough to dissipate the curse spread by that relic of a bloody idolatry and frustrate the menace of the consecrated wild animals.

     An old man from that district had insisted on looking after the success of my exploration and had promised me the assistance of his volatile people.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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