Ferdinand The Bull

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Ferdinand the Bull –  Munro Leaf, 1938

The story really is worth a summary.  I have always identified with it.

Young Ferdinand does not enjoy butting heads with other young bulls, preferring instead to lie under a tree smelling the flowers. His mother worries that he might be lonely and tries to persuade him to play with the other calves, but when she sees that Ferdinand is content as he is, she leaves him alone.

When the calves grow up, Ferdinand turns out to be the largest and strongest of the young bulls. All the other bulls dream of being chosen to compete in the bull fight in Madrid, but Ferdinand still prefers smelling the flowers instead. One day, five men come to the pasture to choose a bull for the fights. Ferdinand is again on his own, sniffing flowers, when he accidentally sits on a bee. Upon getting stung as a result, he runs wildly across the field, snorting and stamping. Mistaking Ferdinand for a mad bull, the men rename him “Ferdinand the Fierce” and take him away to Madrid.

All the beautiful ladies of Madrid turn out to see the handsome matador fight “Ferdinand the Fierce”. However, when Ferdinand is led into the ring, he is delighted by the flowers in the ladies’ hair and lies down in the middle of the ring to enjoy them, upsetting and disappointing everyone. Ferdinand is then sent back to his pasture, where to this day, he is still smelling flowers.ferdinand-and-clover

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