Literature

The Dog and a Condenado, a Classic Tale

A Man and His Flock of Sheep (Walter Coraza Morveli)

There once was an old man who had a flock of sheep and a faithful dog. Everyday he would get up early to take his sheep to the feet of a snow clad peak for them to pasture. In the afternoon he would return home with his flock and his dog. On many occasions one of his sheep would get lost and it would take him longer to get home.

Other people who lived nearby said it was dangerous to go up to the snowfield because many people who had gone there never came back. It was said they were eaten by the condenados, the condemned souls.

The man did not pay attention to what they told him. Every day he got a little closer to the snow. One day he decided to drink because of his birthday while his sheep grazed. He climbed up to where he shouldn’t go and fell asleep next to his dog.

The afternoon had fled and night fell while the sheep one by one disappeared. The man continued to sleep. Suddenly he started foaming at the mouth and became pale. A condenado was coming close. His dog began to bark and would not let the condenado near his owner.

The Old Man Dog (Wayra)
The Old Man Dog (Wayra)

The condemned one asked the dog why it defended the man and the dog said that the man was the only person who took care of the dog. As a result, he would remain faithful even if that meant dying. Suddenly the dog began to wail because he did not want the condenado to eat his owner and the condemned one was forced to go away.

The old man woke up with pains throughout his body and saw his best friend crying. He would not leave him. He realized the dog had saved his life and thanks to him he had awakened once more. He gave him a strong hug and they returned home.

That is why many people say that dogs can see ghosts and condenados at night and for that reason they have crust in their eyes. They also say that if you take the crust from a dog and place it on your eyes you too will be able to see the ghosts at night and you can go crazy.

 

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