There are ample bullfighting bars, the massive Las Ventas bullring and the bullfighting museum in Madrid to keep aficionados interested. While walking the streets of the country’s capital, however, many are unaware of a drama that unfolded decades ago when an escaped toro turned the city into chaos.
When you walk up the streets of Avenida Conde de Penalver and the long Gran Via, you no longer hear the screams. Nor is there any particular statue to mark what was one of the strangest impromptu bullfights in history.
The year was 1928.
No one is certain any more how the bull escaped, but once free it was bent on doing what it did naturally. It caused mass panic and destruction, goring several people who crossed its path.
It was then things took another odd turn.
Fortuna, a matador de toros was on a walk with his wife when he happened to see the animal approaching.
Reacting as calmly as one might have been expected upon seeing a bull running rampant on the street; Fortuna took off his jacket and sought to save the day.
“Go home,” he instructed his wife. “Get the sword.”
As his spouse went home and obeyed his orders, Fortuna caped the bull with his jacket, leafing it back and forth while the horrified others on the street took cover.
Incredibly, Fortuna put together a faena of sorts as he tried to keep the bull occupied.
Finally, his wife arrived with the sword, which she passed to him.
Fortuna gave a few routine flaps with his coat, positioned the enraged animal and lined up with the steel.
He took three steps, made the shift with his jacket and slammed the sword into the beast, which turned, coughed and fell dead.
Only then did the people who had scurried to safety come out, some now daring to stare down at or even touch the fearsome bull.
Then someone had an idea, cutting off the bull’s ears and giving them to the matador as might have been done in the ring.