This is a photograph of a figurine that I brought home from Lisbon about thirty years ago. The figure represents a Portuguese bullfighter.
In the bloodless bullfights of Portugal, a team of eight colorfully dressed men, called forcados, challenge the bull empty handed. The lead forcado taunts the bull into charging and, just the split second before impact, leaps between the horns onto the bull’s head, wraps his arms around its neck, and hangs on for dear life. While six of the other men, three on each side, try to latch onto the rampaging bull to slow him down, the eighth forcado grabs the bull’s tail and digs in his heels until they subdue the animal.
This little guy seems so carefree; he really needs to pay better attention to his surroundings. I felt compelled to add a hint of menace in the form of a large, possibly angry, bull looming in the background as a wake-up call. Not having a picture of a bull in my personal archives, I called on the services of one of my Ice Cream Cows and pumped up her shape a bit and drew horns on her.