Once upon a time in Spain, there was a little bull. His name was Ferdinand.
All the other little bulls he lived with would run and jump and butt their heads together, but not Ferdinand. He liked to just sit quietly and smell the flowers.
Ferdinand had a favorite spot out in the pasture under a cork tree. It was his favorite tree, and he would sit in its shade all day and
smell the flowers.
Sometimes, Ferdinand’s mother, who was a cow, would worry about him. She was afraid Ferdinand would be lonesome all by himself.
"Why don't you run and play with the other little bulls and skip and butt your head?" she would say. But Ferdinand would shake his head. "I like it better here, where I can just sit quietly and smell the flowers."
His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit
there and be happy.
As the years went by, Ferdinand grew and grew… …until he was very big and
All the other bulls who had grown up with him in the same pasture would fight each other all day. They would butt each other and stick each other with their horns. What they wanted most of all was to be picked to fight at the bull fights in Madrid.
But not Ferdinand. He still liked to just sit quietly under the cork tree and smell the flowers.
One day five men came in very funny hats to pick the biggest, fastest, roughest bull to fight in the bull fights in Madrid.
All the other bulls ran around snorting and butting, leaping and jumping so the men would think that they were very very strong and fierce and pick them. Ferdinand knew that they wouldn’t pick him. And he didn’t
So Ferdinand went out to his favorite cork tree to sit down. He didn't look where he was sitting, and instead of sitting on the nice cool grass in the shade, he sat on a bumble bee.
Well, if you were a bumble bee, and a bull sat on you, what would you do? You would sting him. And that is just what this bee did to Ferdinand. Wow! Did it hurt! Ferdinand jumped up with a snort. He ran around puffing and snorting, butting and pawing the ground as if
he were crazy.
The five men saw him and they all shouted with joy. here was the largest and fiercest bull of all. Just the one for the bull fights in Madrid! So they took him away for the bullfight day in a cart.
What a day it
Flags were flying, bands were playing, and all the lovely ladies had flowers in their hair. They had a parade into the bull
First came the Banderilleros with long sharp pins with ribbons on them to stick in the bull and make him mad. Then next came the Picadores, who rode skinny horses and had long spears to stick in the bull to make him madder.
Then came the Matador, the proudest of all. He thought he was very handsome, and he bowed to the ladies. He had a red cape and a sword and was supposed to stick the bull last of all.
And you know who it was… …don’t you?
They called him Ferdinand the Fierce. All of the Banderilleros were afraid of him, and the Picadores were afraid of him, and the Matador was scared stiff. Ferdinand ran to the middle of the ring, and everyone shouted and clapped because they thought he was going to fight fiercely and butt and snort and stick his horns around.
But not Ferdinand. When he got to the middle of the ring, he saw the flowers in all the lovely ladies' hair and just sat down quietly and smelled. He wouldn't fight and be fierce no matter what they did. He just sat and smelled.
And the Banderilleros were mad, and the Picadores were madder. The Matador was so mad he cried because he couldn't show off with his cape and sword.
So, they had to take Ferdinand home.
And he is there still, under his favorite cork tree, just quietly smelling the flowers. He is very