Ferdinand the Bull

33

Once upon a time

in sunny Spain

there was a little bull,

and his name was Ferdinand.

All the other little bulls

he lived with

would run and jump

and butt their heads together.

But not Ferdinand.

He had his favorite spot

out in the pasture,

under a cork tree.

And he would sit just quietly

in its shade all day

and smell the flowers.

Sometimes his mother, who was a cow,

Would worry about him.

She was afraid he would

be lonesome all by himself.

Now, Ferdinand,

why don't you play

with all the other little bulls

and butt your head?

But Ferdinand

would shake his head.

I like it better here,

where I can sit just quietly

and smell the flowers.

And because she was

an understanding mother,

even though she was a cow,

she let him just sit there

and be happy.

As the years went by,

Ferdinand grew

and grew and grew,

until he was very big and very strong.

All the other bulls

wanted most of all

to fight at the bullfights in Madrid.

But not Ferdinand.

He still liked to sit just

quietly under the cork tree

and smell the flowers.

One day five men

came in funny hats

to pick the biggest,

fastest, roughest bull

to fight in the bullfights.

All the other bulls ran around leaping

and huffing and butting their heads,

so the men would think

they were strong and fierce

and pick them.

But not Ferdinand.

He knew they wouldn't pick him

and he didn't care.

So he went out under his

favorite cork tree to sit down,

but he didn't look

where he was sitting,

and he sat on a bumblebee!

Ferdinand ran around puffing

and snorting as if he were crazy.

The five men saw him,

and they all shouted with joy.

"Look at him go!"

- ¡Bravo!

- ¡Excelente!

- ¡Magnífico!

- ¡Espléndido!

This is the one!

Whoopee!

So they took him away

for the bullfight day in a cart.

What a day it was!

Flags were flying,

bands were playing.

They had a parade

into the bullring.

First came

the banderilleros.

Next came the picadors.

Then came the matador,

the proudest of all.

Then came the bull.

And you know who that was,

don't you?

Mm-hmm.

Ferdinand.

Hooray!

They called him

Ferdinand the Fierce,

and all the banderilleros

were afraid of him.

The picadors were afraid of him,

and the matador,

he was scared stiff.

When Ferdinand saw the lovely flowers,

he ran to the middle of the ring.

Everyone shouted, because they

thought he was going to fight fiercely.

When he got to the middle of the ring,

he sat down just quietly

and smelled.

The banderilleros were mad,

and the picadors were madder.

But the matador

was the maddest of all.

Come on, fight!

What's the matter?

Be fierce!

Come on, come on!

Boo! Ahhh! Bah!

The matador,

he made very ugly faces.

Wahhh!

Na na na na na na na!

Nyah!

But Ferdinand

just sat and smelled.

The matador, he was furious.

He broke his sword

in little pieces.

He stomped his feet.

He pulled his hair.

But still Ferdinand

sat just quietly

and smelled.

He pleaded with Ferdinand.

Please, please!

Stick me, do something.

Do something!

Give it to me!

Whoa. Whoa.

The matador

was so mad he cried,

'cause he couldn't show off

with his cape and sword.

So they had

to take Ferdinand home.

And for all I know,

he is sitting there still

under his favorite cork tree,

Smelling the flowers

just quietly.

He is very happy

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