Pastureland. Bullseye, by Tim Pinks

See the Part One. Pastureland
See the Part Two. Preparation
See the Part Three. Passage
See the Part FourPamplona
See the Part Five. Pandemonium, and the Passing

Bullseye. I have often wondered what would be the bulls eye view of Pamplona, from their life in the fields where they were born to their final ending in Pamplona. Recently, while visiting friends at a bullranch in Spain, we went out into the fields after lunch with the head shepherd and some of the cowboys, to look at the bulls, as we had just found out where some of them were to be sent to.

As we rode out we found some of the ones we were looking for, and sat in silence for a few minutes and just observed them. They are such magnificent beasts, big and strong, powerful and noble. Beautiful animals. But as we sat there, marvelling at them, I noticed that one bull would not take it eyes off the head shepherds’ horse. They stared at each other, and maybe it was the effects of the lunchtime wine, but I could swear they were talking, somehow.

Part One


“Which one do you call Pulido”?

The question was asked by the human on the big white horse, to the other, younger human on the smaller horse.

Pulido, The Polished One, is what they, human, had named me, because my skin wasn’t just black, but it shone, as if it had been polished. But to my family and friends and the other bulls in the herd I was called Meteor, and I was named after the first thing my mother saw after she gave birth to me.

It is a wonderful name for a bull to have, because although we live here in Pastureland, a beautiful place of grass and meadow, river and mountain, we know that up there beyond the clouds our ancestors live. The sun is our ancient father, and the moon our first mother, and from them came the first cows and bulls, and it is from them that we are all descended.

Our Sunfather looks after us during the day, he warms us up and feeds us, through the grass that grows underneath us, the fruit that falls from his trees, and the life he brings to Pastureland. When he begins to leave us at dusk, our Moonmother comes to take care of us. And with her in the night sky come all the other bulls and cows that there ever were. Their eyes blink at us, and smile at us, and sometimes, when we have to leave our home, they cry for us. Human calls them stars, but we know they are the eyes of our forebearers, watching over us. We hear human sing a song sometimes, about a bull that’s in love with the moon. If only they knew…

And when we see a meteor speeding across the heavens we know it is the spirit of not just a newly departed bull, but a special one, a divine bull, rushing to join his family. So to be given the name Meteor is an honour, and one I will try to live up to.


I am a Miura bull, and so was born into bovine royalty. Amongst the human we are famous, for we are fighting bulls, wild but noble, almost free yet born to die far from our home and before our time, in what human calls a corrida de toros, a bullfight. But until then we live in paradise in Pastureland, able to feed on barley and cabbage, broad beans and grass. Pastureland has endless and nourishing fields of green delicious grass, which is like nectar to us, and we can eat grass until, honestly, the cows come home.

But one day I and some of my brothers will be rounded up and taken away from our home. We would normally live to about 20 or 25 of your years, very old in our world. I wont live that long though, because I am Miura, and they will take me away when I am still young, at about 5 years old. There is almost nothing I can do to change this. It is my destiny.

We are born to die young. We have no choice. As we say in our world, it just is.

So when we saw Man coming, we were more than a little curious. We are used to Boy, watching over us with his horse, and the other shepherds, but today he came with Man, on his big horse. Now if there is one other animal we respect, it is Horse. Horses are animal royalty also, proud and noble like us, and we respect them. We can’t communicate too well with them as the way they talk is very strange, but like many tongues there are similarities.

He was a fine horse, and we had all seen him before. He was as white as I am black, and his rider wasn’t just human, but someone special. A señor. They stopped and said nothing to each other, just observed us, in their way. The horses looked at us, and we acknowledged them. White Horse was looking especially at me, and appeared as if he was about to say something to me when Little Horse, just a colt really, said excitedly “Hey bulls, guess what? You’re going to…”

“Silence!” said White Horse to the colt. Little Horse didn’t have to ask “why” but I could see the question was in his eyes.

White Horse looked at me and said “You are the one your family call Fast Star, are you not?” Although all I understood was “You family Fast Star, no?”

“Yes White Horse, I am” (Fast Star! Not as good as Meteor, but I liked it). He had already put me in a good mood with that.

“Well, the señor has some news for you and your brothers, but you should hear it from him”.

And White Horse smiled, kindly. But to us bulls, we think horses look hilarious when they smile, what with that long face, and I was feeling great now, even though I was about to hear the name of the place where I would almost certainly die.

In our world, Pastureland, there are many places of Iberia that are famous beyond your stars. These names are brought to us on the wind, through the river, and in the rustling of the leaves on the trees. Sometimes, as rare as an eclipse, when Sunfather and Moonmother make magic, a bull does return back to his field in Pastureland, and we hear directly from the bulls mouth what will happen to us, and of those places in your world you call Seville and Madrid, Granada and Ronda.

Ah, Ronda, beautiful Ronda, where it all started, the home of bullfighting. But there is one place where all bulls want to go, and it is legendary in all Toromundo, and it is the only place which at the very mention of the name makes our horns tingle.

The señor finally stopped looking at us and turned to his shepherd and said,

“Which one do you call Pulido”?

“That one, sir, the one with a hide like black gold”.

“He is magnificent, isn’t he?. What a beautiful bull. Well, Paco, as you have been looking after him and his brothers so well, you will be coming with us in a couple of months when we take them to the corrida”. All I could understand from this was “beautiful bull brothers corrida”. Like the dog human likes to keep, you hear words enough times and the meaning becomes clear.

“Thank you, señor”, said Paco, extremely happy, “And where is it that we are going”?.

Human looked at him, then turned to me, and his eyes seem to burn as he said… “Pamplona!”

And my horns began to tingle.