The story’s plot (if there is any) was light. It was just about a guy (Manong) who took care of a bull and eventually met a girl (Aning) on the road. It was obvious that Manong was attracted to Aning mainly because of her figure, “The underpart of her arm is while and smooth…And her hair is thick and black.”
The bull in the story served as a connection of the two persons. It was like in Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Pet Dog” (I just realized that I often cite this story in my commentaries. What can I do? I love this story). When Manong was having a meal with the bull on his side, he found the girl fetching water on the well and it was obvious that Manong grew “conscious” in her presence which leads to the idea that he likes the girl. But on my reading, he just likes the girl due to impulsiveness – physical attraction. His noticeable thoughts of the girl’s “breast” was the proof that he was just another normal guy who does this thing. Oh, I’m sounding crappy.
Their conversation when they talked about their meals made their official connection toward each other (the one Aning confessed that her meal were just rice and salt), “They laughed and felt more at ease and regarded each other more openly” and “the while he gazed up at her and smiled for no reason.” And when the bucket of water fell they started teasingly blaming themselves. Manong volunteered to fill the empty buket with water because he thought that he was “stronger” than her (I found a sexist tone in this part though). Anyway, when Aning offered him to drink water from his fetched bucket he seemed to be more “conscious” than ever, “A chuckling sound persisted in forming inside his throat at every shallow. It made him self-conscious. He was breathless when though, and red in the face.”
Aning also offered Manong to stay in their house foor some shade and to have some rest. Of course, Aning mentioned the “bull” to at least express a reason for the offer (a very common technique. Lol.) But I stopped when I read the line, “We have no neighbors.” I thought that the ending of the story was somewhat mysterious but it came to tme that maybe I was just over reacting about this one. Anyway, back to the issue, I think there was a great possibility of them being lovers. The closing lines though made me feel a creepy feeling, “He felt strong. He felt that he could follow the slender, lithe figure ahead of him to the ends of the world.” It felt awkward.
Courtney from Study Moose
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