THE RIGHT HAND – Mamerto Menapace


mamerto menapace

This is a bug story. And it's about Aguará, the Fox. Don Juan, as he is called in the field. Character full of cunning, and for others fond of the chicken coops. But that does not leave just leather on the stake. Although sometimes hunger leads him to commit recklessness, which usually pay dearly.

They had it sworn in Don Juan's room. They knew that it was useless to look for him among the rough straws of the ravine, once there he won. It would also have been nice to look for him with dogs during the day. He smelled them from a distance and any cave used to be a hiding place to make them smoke. That's why they decided to beat him for cleverness. They knew their preference for feathery ones, especially when they are fat and far from the normal defense of the chicken coops near the house.

And so it was that they set the trap. In the old tapera was. A live and fat hen was tied up halfway up, entangled in a wire, between the not too high segments of an old orange tree. Everything seemed to have happened by chance. The hen could have moved away from the inhabited house and the night would surprise her pecking in the yard full of weeds from the old tapera. There she would have gone up to the orange tree to sleep safely, and a wire, perhaps of how much time had been forgotten, would have hooked her up leaving her to ask Don Juan for her mouth.

At least that was the conclusion reached by the Aguará after studying from a distance and with caution the situation with which that night was found. Hunger had taken him out of the pajonal, and before risking a closeness to the chicken coop had wanted to go through that place to find out the noise of the flutter of what could be a bird. He did not let himself be convinced very easily. But at last the hunger on the one hand, and his instinct as a lone hunter on the other, encouraged him to come closer. And what he saw confirmed his hopes. The chicken was within reach of its jumps, and there was no way up there anything that looked like a trap. He had enough experience to know where there was danger. And the hen was really appetizing.

– God helps the early bird, he told himself, not realizing that someone had risen early before him. From this he realized only when the second jump, and almost having the bird between his teeth, fell to the ground felt the trac! From the iron trap that was hidden among the pastures on the ground.

I had not expected that. Damn gluttony, which led him to neglect! The trap was not between the branches, but where he had put the leg. Or better the hand. Because the iron clamp with rusty teeth had grabbed his right hand just above the wrist. The blood began to run and the initial cold was becoming a sharp pain that clogged the entire body. Efforts were useless. The teeth penetrated more and more into the joint, and the trap was tied with wire to the trunk of the tree.

Soon, Don Juan el Aguará understood that everything was lost. From there he would not let go, nor could he take that damned trap to his cave. After a night of tremendous pain, the dawn would arrive and with it the monthly trip to the trot of his horse zaino. He would open the gate from above, approach the tapera, let himself fall from the horse with the talero in his hand, run the auction on his fist and free the corporal to shake off the blow that would finally unburden him. He had no doubt about all this. Although sometimes the pain and his instinct of conservation led him to make desperate efforts to tear his right hand from the iron teeth that gripped him.

And the dawn arrived. The knock of the latch on the rail of the gate woke him from lethargy. There was the monthly approaching the sobon trot of his chestnut. Don Juan realized that the decisive moment had come. You had to choose. And he opted.

He raged his sharp teeth angrily at the iron teeth of the trap, affirming them right there on the wound they produced. He closed his eyes, and while giving a tremendous pull, bit with all his strength his own hand, cutting it to the iron.

There would remain his right hand, while he, on three legs and almost without strength, fled to the pajonales thus saving his life.

He considered it preferable to save the lean life, than to finish with his four legs under the talero of the monthly.

Book: "Stolen Tales", Editora Patria Grande, Buenos Aires, 1996, pages 65, 66, 67 and 68.


  1. Make a short text in groups explaining what lesson you leave in relation to freedom.
  2. From the texts produced in groups, the course will make a text synthesizing the feelings of all. This text will be read by a partner in the act of Independence Day.



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