There was a very old and rather hunched-back woman who lived with her only son in Grado del Pico until she died. She was bent over with the terrible pain that was her burden. This old woman had given birth to two sturdy sons who soon got tired of the hard and sometimes lonely life they led in the village. In the mid-seventies, both brothers left the village to search for their fortune in Madrid. Alas, the elder brother’s destiny was cut short as he was tragically killed while standing at a bus-stop in Madrid.
The agony and suffering was too much for the widowed woman to bear on her own so Julito gave in to her pleadings and gave up his work as a cook in a fancy hotel in the centre of Madrid to accompany his mother in her grief and solitude.
The story goes, that despite Julito being a man of the world, his mother began to exercise her strong power of control over him and all too soon, lay down the law in full force.
She started by forbidding him to spend his hard earned cash on any whims he might have. Julito had few caprices, but there was one he did cherish. He was a horse lover. By the time he had returned to Grado, the number of men and women in the village had sadly dwindled and Julito’s drinking partners were no longer around. So, in search of comfort and solace, Julito decided to buy himself a young chestnut coloured mare that he had had his eye on for some time.
After some very hard bargaining with the dealer, Julito purchased his beast at a price he considered to be a good deal and returned home astride his mare with a wide grin of satisfaction on his face. Alas, he was unable to share any of his joys with his mother and while the woman was alive, he was forced to concoct the story that the mare supposedly belonged to a neighbour, who at that time was living in Madrid.
If Julito was unable to tell his mother that he was the owner of a horse, it was even more difficult for him to reveal to her that he was courting a young woman from a nearby village. In this case, it was inconceivable to fabricate the story that he was looking after the girl for a neighbour who was, living in Madrid and the relationship eventually dried up.
The years crept by for Julito and his mother and our carácter of this story grew old in the shadow of his mother. Each day, he would ride his mare, accompanied by his many dogs, into the fields and the low lying hills that surrounded the village seeking solace and hope from the animals that he loved and then dolefully return to the confines of his mother’s four walls.
One fine day, he rose early to go on his lonesome ride. Before leaving, he popped into his mother’s bedroom to kiss her goodbye. His gentle knock received no answer, so he timidly opened the door. The room was dark and silent and Julito hesitated a little before approaching his mother’s bed. He stood beside her and called her name ever so gently again. Hearing no answer, he bent down to confirm what his heart had already told him. His domineering mother had passed away peacefully in the night.
From that day on, Julito began to live again. The scowl disappeared from his face and a smile and a grin replaced it as slowly but surely he once more began to enjoy the basic pleasures of life. He bought another mare and met another woman.
Currently, he is living very happily with a Colombian lady and they spend their days with their dogs and taking selfies as they ride on Julito’s horses through the meadows and along the peaceful paths that follow the meandering river.