La bruja / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Witch

     The horse descended the pyramidal hill and entered the streets of the abandoned city. It was white and had an abundant mane. It would stop to listen with a saddened air to a rumor born in the entrails of the earth.

     It occasionally took up a martial trot. The branch of a thorny bramble would suppress the whirlwind of its hair.

     Some birds of insatiable voracity, proceeding from the desert, had camped atop the buildings and were closely watching the small game. They resisted the pounding of the rain and the gale by retracting and compressing their plumage, until attaining the appearance of a spear or of a spindle. They had caused the hunger and flight of a tribe of gypsies, preventing them their consumption of the hedgehog, the mole and the shrew.

     I followed the steps of the horse and got lost with him in a field of henna, divided by a river. I always saw in front of me and on the line of the horizon a few cabins with a conical shape. Their inhabitants, of mild temperament, lived in misery and nourished themselves with raw and rotting fish. They suffered the excesses committed by a caravan of bandoleers, who had deserted from a distant prison and were affected by the mutilation of the nose and ears.

     The residents of the cabins would prostrate themselves in front of a despotic witch. They led me to her home, resembling a stable.

     I had felt pity upon seeing her, when I was little, on the edge of a pine forest. She was busy gathering old branches to defend herself from the insalubrious cold. I spontaneously helped her in her task.

     She had thanked me for my help and kept vigil day and night for my protection. The white horse had been her emissary and had brought me to her presence, hidden from the criminals.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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