tauromachy

The tortoise bounced up and down furiously.

“That wasn’t a curse! That was an order! I am the Great God Om!”

Brutha blinked. Then he said, “No you’re not. I’ve seen the Great God Om,” he waved a hand making the shape of the holy horns, conscientiously, “and he isn’t tortoise-shaped. He comes as an eagle, or a lion, or a mighty bull. There’s a statue in the Great Temple. It’s seven cubits high. It’s got bronze on it and everything. It’s trampling infidels. You can’t trample infidels when you’re a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look. It’s got horns of real gold. Where I used to live there was a statue one cubit high in the next village and that was a bull too. So that’s how I know you’re not the Great God”—holy horns—“Om.”

The tortoise subsided.

“How many talking tortoises have you met?” it said sarcastically.

“I don’t know,” said Brutha.

“What d’you mean, you don’t know?”

“Well, they might all talk,” said Brutha conscientiously, demonstrating the very personal kind of logic that got him Extra Melons. “They just might not say anything when I’m there.”

—  Small Gods, Terry Pratchett, 1992

Nicknamed ‘El Nino’, Nino is a ten-year-old toreador apprentice of the Nimes bullfighting school doing a muleta pass at the bullring of Bouillargues, near Nimes in southern France.

The French Tauromachy Centre in Nimes has trained some 1,000 youths in the art of bullfighting. Twenty of them have gone on to become professional matadors, facing fighting bulls in the arena. Twice a week, students take courses with a matador to learn the movements and gestures of the bullfighter in the ring, but without an animal present. Students train with calves in the surrounding fields during spring, and regularly participate in beginner’s bullfights (becerradas) but without killing the calves. - NBC News

Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier for Reuters - (View more here)