Man’s Best Friend

Buck wore red, which nobody with a any brains would wear to a bullfight. He smiled and tipped his hat whenever he caught someone staring. Sauntering through the crowd, he finally hopped up to his seat, apologizing to everyone already seated. He hadn’t expected his shirt to blend in so much. Next time he would need to prepare better.  

“I give him five to three,” commented the old man to his left.

“Got enough meat on him to stand in a fight, but he’s getting older, slower.”

“Oh, same here. The hat looks worn down, too.”

The man furrowed his eyebrows.

“Are you dull? I was talking about the bull?”

Buck nodded.

“I’m a little dull. Folk gotta talk slow-like around me.”

The man shook his head, sliding further away.

Buck whistled, leaning forward. The fight was about to begin. He wondered if they were close, underneath all the acting and faking. He thought if had a bull, he’d be his friend. 

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The bull tossed its head, the audience hooting and tossing pieces of popcorn at its head. It turned to look at them. Buck felt a twinge of guilt. Even if they’d chosen this, it couldn’t be easy. 

The man stood, knife pressing into the side of his arm. The blood shone bright red in the midday sun, and the bull saw it. Buck settled in, stroking his rat as it trembled. If he had a bull, he’d have been its friend, but this wasn’t his bull.


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