Rulfo- primera traducción

You Don’t Hear the Dogs Howling


“Go up there, Ignacio, tell me if you don’t hear a sign of some kind or if you see some light anywhere.”

“You can’t see anything.”

“We should be close by now.”

“Yes, but you can’t hear anything.”

“Look harder.”

“You can’t see anything.”

“Poor you, Ignacio.”

The long and black shadow of the men kept moving from top to bottom, climbing the rocks, shrinking and growing while it advanced along the riverbank. It was a single shadow, staggering.

The moon shone off of the ground, like a rounded flare.

“We should be arriving to this town by now, Ignacio. Keep an ear out, pretend to see if you can’t hear the dogs howling. Remember what they told us that Tonaya was behind the mountain. And it’s been so many hours since we left the mountain. Remember, Ignacio.”

“Yes, but I don’t see a trail for anything.”

“I’m tired.”

“Put me down.”

The old man backed himself up until he reached the wall and regained his strength there, without releasing the load from his shoulders. Although his legs bent, he did not want to sit, because afterwards he would not be able to lift his son’s body, which back there, hours before, his legs had helped him throw out his back. And he carried him this way ever since.

“How do you feel?”


He spoke very little. Each time less. At times, he looked like he was sleeping. At times, he looked like he was cold. He shook. He knew when he would grab him the trembling would shake him, and because his feet would fit into his sides like spurs. Later the hands of the son, who was bringing ?? in his neck, were shaking his head as if it were a rattle. He clenched his teeth as to not bite his tongue and when he finished, he was asking,

“Did it hurt you much?”

“It was something,” he answered.

First, he had said, “Get me off of you here…leave me here…you go alone. I will reach you tomorrow or as soon as I recover a little.” He had been saying this about fifty times. Now he did not even say that. There was the moon. In front of them. A giant and colored moon that was filling their eyes with light and that stretched and darkened more of its shadow across the ground.

“I still don’t see where I am going,” he was saying.

But nobody answered.

The other one was going there above, everything illuminated by the moon, with his discolored face, without blood, reflecting a dull light. And him there underneath.


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