Las suplicantes / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Supplicants

     The fugitive women prostrate themselves at the feet of the king and express themselves in labored voices, without putting in order the story of their disgrace.

     The king is unable to understand them until he steps aside with the most serene one and speaks with her.

     They could not suffer the opprobrium of their gentleman. They were horrified by his lank mustache, by his citrine face, by his belly lowered onto his dwarf legs.

     I immediately went out to prevent the king’s generosity and dissuaded him from saving the fugitives.

     I had dominated, in those days, a sedition among the women of my seraglio. They let themselves be advised by a malicious and deformed eunuch, whom they compared to the zebu.

     I had inferred upon him the worst affront among Muslims, throwing at his face one of my slippers when I was enraged by a cannabis potion.

     The supplicants were returned to their owner by my advice and under my direction. They marched on foot, tied together by their hair, through an ardent expanse of sand and under the lash of one of my slaves.

     I put them in the hands of their master and recommended to him a memorable punishment.

     He took them out, amidst the popular clamor, sitting backwards on camels gnawed by mange.

     Some old ladies came to see them, addressing them with shameless nicknames and throwing fistfuls of trash from the street at them.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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