Friday, May 8, 2015

The Portuguese Rooster

The Portuguese tell the tale of a humble pilgrim taking his journey on the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James).  A murder occurred while he had stopped along the road and he was arrested.

The pilgrim said he could never kill anyone, not even an ant.  The man pleaded and pleaded with the court that he was a devout person of God but they found him guilty and sentenced him to hang.  He continued to plead his case. They finally agreed to let him speak with the judge at his noon meal.

The man ventured to the judge’s home where an elaborate meal of foods spread on a table.  Pastries, wines, cheeses, roasted delicacies included a plate that featured a rooster simmering in sauces. The man was overhwhelmed by the scents.  As the judge began to eat, the pilgrim told his tale.

The judge just laughed and claimed the evidence was convincing.  The pilgrim closed his eyes, sat down and prayed and prayed.

His one last request, “If I can make the rooster rise and crow will you save me?” Again the judge laughed but nodded his head, rooster juice dripping from his chin.

The man prayed and prayed once more.  Suddenly crows sounded. The rooster's voice resounded and wings fluttered as the bird rose from the table.

From then on the Portuguese have considered the rooster good luck and an item to keep as souvenirs.  Rooster caricatures appear everywhere.

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