Rayadillo General

The Rayadillo General

 

And so I throw another curve at you as I write this story. It will probably consist of 4 parts, this one being the first. I start the tale with the story of a horse, and may finally end the story with another different horse. But that’s going too far ahead of the story. This part tells about the death of the Rayadillo (pin-striped uniform) General, another twist in the plot because the rest of the tale will have this general telling the rest of the story at that time before he got assassinated. And the setting of the story is that vacant number of years after the Spanish-American War.

 

The Rayadillo General

by Cool_Ambo

 

When I last talked to Dr. Jose Rizal, nah, that isn’t true. I never talked to Dr. Jose Rizal. My grandfather did, my grandfather twice removed. And yes, he was put away twice in his days. At least what I am going to tell you is what I heard from this grandfather of mine, twice put away in his lifetime.

But hey, this grandfather of mine was the official bodyguard of the Rayadillo General. Now I am downright sure that he never was, did not really want to be the bodyguard of the Rayadillo General even if the general was a very close friend of his. I should know this for a fact because he was blood of my blood, and my own blood dictates that I should do away with such ideas as taking a bullet for somebody else, even if this somebody else is a boon companion of mine. Moreover, my grandfather was scared of guns, and in this particular aspect he was blood of my blood after all.

At any rate, he was pronounced as the official bodyguard of the Rayadillo General by the general himself, against my grandfather’s wishes, of course. He was made so because the general happened to like my grandfather’s horse, and therefore my grandfather had to go with the horse if and whenever the Rayadillo General borrows it for special occasions. And since the general goes to more special occasions than one,it was deemed it proper for my grandfather to act as the official bodyguard. This arrangement was much to the other soldiers’ liking because by then they would be free of the task of guarding the general.

My grandfather pampered this horse, a kabayong mola (reddish black horse). She was a mare, named PIRA, or short for Coolaspira. She was the fastest horse in town, and maybe for two more towns over.  I can imagine her being so because the only other horses in town were made to pull calesas (passenger carts). Pira had to be the fastest horse in town because she was the only one who was not made to pull carts.

Grandfather brushed her skin with mustard oil to put out the sheen on her coat, and afterwards put her tail on a knot before she goes out of the stable. This knot, according to those who watched Pira, displayed her most seductive anatomical property to the other horses,, so much so that it made her strut more seductively. This was wistful thinking for the general but he just about wished that he could die riding grandfather’s horse, Pira, upon seeing her prancing on the gloss.

One fateful day, or that day that Pira was scheduled to be borrowed by the Rayadillo General, Grandfather could not find Isko, the Calesa driver. He was supposed to bring the special grass feed for Pira called sakate. This grass feed, for some reason, gave her strength in her gallop and stateliness in her strut. So Grandfather led Pira towards the turnip patch to feed. After a while, they went back to find Isko without the horse pulling his cart. The horse was the one borrowed by the General and he went without a bodyguard.

In that instant, Grandfather got on the horse and galloped to the appointed place for the general. He was too late. The Rayadillo General was shot dead. My grandfather was filled with remorse. He blamed himself for the death of the general.

So biting were the pangs of guilt that he changed the name of his horse.

He did not call her Coolaspira anymore. Thereafter she was called Coolasisi as a symbol of his remorse.

wizard6

 

Dr. Jose Rizal

 

Dr. Jose Rizal

Prologue by Cool_ambo

 

 When I last talked to Jose Rizal…….

No that is not true. He lived circa 1890 to I dunno.

But my grandfather did talk to him….or was it my great-grandfather? I don’t know. It’s got to be one of them, I suppose. This is what was told me by the father of my mother…or was it the mother of my father?

 Heck, my grandfather was the official bodyguard of one of the Rayadillo* Generals. Now I am downright sure that he was not, and did not really want to be a bodyguard of a Rayadillo General, nor of anybody for that matter, even though the General was his good friend. I know this for a fact. He is blood of my blood, and my blood tells me not to entertain heroic ideas such as taking a bullet for a Rayadillo general even though he is a good friend. Moreover, my grandfather was scared of guns. In this trait, he is no doubt blood of my blood, and after my own heart.

 At any rate and with not much fuss, he was pronounced official bodyguard by this Rayadillo General, most probably against his natural wishes, and he was pronounced so merely because the General happened to like my grandfather’s horse. You see, my grandfather had to go with the horse at wherever and whenever the General borrows the horse for special occasions. With this arrangement, he might as well be the bodyguard of the general, so there.

 My grandfather, whichever he was, pampered this horse of his, a “kabayong mola”.  She was a mare nicknamed Pira. She was the fastest horse in town and maybe a couple more towns over. I can imagine her being the fastest because most of the horses there were made to pull calesas or caretelas. Pira had to be the fastest horse in town by virtue of being the only horse around that is not made to pull a cart.

 Grandfather brushed her coat with mustard oil to accentuate the sheen after which he tied her tail in a knot before she comes out of the stable. This knot, according to my grandfather, displayed her most seductive anatomical property to the other horses, and as a result made herself strut more seductively. This was wistful thinking on his part but the General just about wished that he could die riding Grandfather’s horse, Pira, after seeing all of her gloss and prance.

 One fateful day, or that day which Pira was supposed to be borrowed by the General, Grandfather failed to find Isko, the Calesa driver, who was supposed to bring the special grass feed for Pira called “sakate”. This grass feed, for some reason, gave her strength in her gallop and stateliness in her strut. So Grandfather led Pira down to the “tumana” to feed on the family turnip patch instead.

 After a while, they went back to find Isko with his calesa but without a horse. The General borrowed the horse of Isko instead and went without a bodyguard. In that instant, Grandfather got on the horse and sped towards the General’s appointed place. He was too late. The General was shot dead in front of the church. My grandfather, whichever of my grandfathers he was, was completely filled with remorse. He blamed himself and Pira for the death of the General. So biting were the pangs of guilt that he changed the name of the horse. She was not to be called Coolaspira no more. Thereafter, she was to be called Coolasisi, a symbol of regret.

*rayadillo is the uniform of the Philippine Revolutionary Army which is white with thin gray lines

next….the General tells a portion of Dr. Jose Rizal’s life, that is, when the general was still alive.