Santa Claus has come and gone. So have the Kings, and so has the family from foreign parts in Grado del Pico. Like Santa and the Kings, the family from foreign parts dropped in for a short while and then departed.
One frosty morning in late December, the inhabitants of the village discovered that there were only to be four of them left to wander up and down the steep, empty streets. The family from foreign parts had vanished into thin air again in the middle of the gelid, winter night. This came as something of a surprise to all, as the two remaining children had been seen going regularly to school in Ayllón, the nearby village. Also, the number of mares the family possessed had increased, and it seemed that the lonely village was no longer to be as lonely as it once had been.
But all the hope that Christmastide brings dissipated when the few remaining villagers saw the shutters of the family house closed and barred. What’s more, their car was no longer standing outside the front door. In its stead, was the family dog tied to the window, shivering in the shimmering morning frost.
The next concern the villagers had was that of the horses. Had the family from foreign parts taken the herd with them? That question was soon answered when the clip clop of hooves was heard. The four remaining villagers realised all too soon, that not only had the family left them the dog to take care of, but also the mares.
And so the chase began to round up the beasts that took to roaming the country lanes and paths in search of a meadow where they could graze. Just like people, the mares decided that the grass was greener on the other side. This really meant the other side of the road. So, off they went galloping towards the fields that were well out of bounds.
The four remaining villagers were only too aware of the dangers and risks the herd of horses was going to impose upon drivers. Night and day the four good neighbours attempted to hustle the herd back to the village where they could remain in safety until the family from foreign parts returned. That is indeed, if they ever did return.
And the last time I was in the village, I too joined in the chase. But those mares belonging to the family from foreign parts are too fast for anyone, and so they remain searching for green grass in forbidden fields, causing anxiety to the remaining four good neighbours in Grado del Pico.