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Life In Old Spain - Part 7

LIFE IN OLD SPAIN - PART 7Fiesta time - Learning to Dance. The Juans insisted that I must learn to dance. Standing up was proving difficult by this time, let alone following strict instructions about the dance routines, and every time I took a wrong step there was a great burst of laughter.

Eventually one of the girls insisted on adjusting my clothes. “You cannot dance properly dressed like that. Your clothes should be tight. How can you move properly if you have nothing to move against?”

I was puzzled. “Pardon?”

“If you have a partner, you dance against her. But if you have no partner you must dance against your clothes. Yours...” She held out my shirt, “are hopeless. How can you push yourself out against this? It is loose. It flaps like a frightened chicken.” And she waggled the material.

The Juans loved this, and they all capered about flapping their arms and squawking like scattered hens.

I could cope with this. I knew the phrases from the silly books I'd been reading. I pulled myself up tall and declaimed with one arm outstretched, “Who will lend me their shirt of fine cambric?”

My shirt was discarded and I borrowed someone else's which was usefully at least two sizes too small.

“And what are these?” The girl rattled my trousers which hung loose about me.

“Take them off, take them off,” screamed all the girls.

I knew it. This is the real Spain. When we are out, and there's no priest about, the fun begins. There are no taboos when everybody is present. Chaperones? Who needs them when the whole village is the chaperone?

“In these trousers you have no bottom.”

“Take off his trousers so we can see his bottom.”

Wait a minute, these girls are getting out of hand.

It only took me seconds to work around that one. “If I have no trousers, I have nothing to push my bottom against.”

The men cheered and clapped. The girls dismissed this lame excuse. “Give him some proper trousers. We'll dress him properly.”

This was the moment for most of the girls to join in the fun, and I was hustled into the trees and an attack was launched on my trousers by so many hands I couldn't tell which girl was doing what, but it took them ages to get my trousers off.

One of the older boys was forced out of his as well, and given some sacking to put round himself, and the girls had even greater fun trying to get me into the ridiculously tight trousers.

I think they deliberately chose trousers that were too small, which meant they could spend half an hour trying to get them over my middle, and then struggle to get them off again when they found they would only go part-way.

The language was about as blue as possible. “Do your girls usually talk like this?” I screamed back at the Juans.

“Don't worry Don Juan,” at which everybody laughed. “You are in good hands.”

“Too many hands.”

“Don't complain when you are in luck. It is your day. The day of the Juans. You are protected.”

“We'll have to get a bigger pair. We'll never get it past this tree.” One of the girls actually pulled my now rather large cock out of my pants and the rude remarks multiplied.

“What did you expect? Look at his hair. Tiene verga de cabrón.”

“Whose house does he go to tonight?” At this they all started laughing again.

The party seemed to be carrying on quite normally without me and the various helpers, and I began to wonder whether they'd all forgotten about the dance.

One thing did strike me as odd. There were no irate mothers screaming at their daughters for this outrageous behaviour. No fathers were issuing stern warnings. It was as if nothing untoward was happening.

The girls at last managed to find a pair of trousers that was what you might call in the matador style. I could hardly move in them, and the front bulged rather alarmingly.

One of the girls faced me, and started making dance movements. “Follow, follow,” she screeched at me. Wow, these girls sound like fingernails being scraped down a black-board when they shout.

I reached out to touch her shoulders but she pushed my hands away. “Watch me, and follow,” she screamed again.

Another helpful girl started pushing me from behind, her hands on my bottom.

Three or four girls were singing a folk song, and my partner and I were doing a very staid sort of dance. It seemed to consist of angular movements with my arms and legs, almost like some form of semaphore.

“Stop!” she screamed at me. “Watch. Like this. You do this to the short lines, then add this to the longer lines, then back to the short line. Like so.”

“Yes, but how do I know when the short line is coming?”

“You can tell. It is talk. The song sings a line of talk, then a reply. You have patterns. Like this. The song goes like this.” She sang a line or two from the song. “That's when you have to move further, like this.” She sang a shorter line. “That is the reply. You see. You bring your hands back down, and move your legs to this side.” She lifted one arm up in the air, and pushed a leg out behind her, then turned and swung her arm down, and moved the leg in the other direction.

She turned to the chorus line. “Canta, canta." -- Sing. She moved her body almost like a snake. “Now, this part is the story. No-one is speaking.”

I looked glum. “This is complicated. I have to follow the words?”

“Of course, conyo.” I was not shocked. The word is not like the English. It is a normal low level insult, that's all. She might as well have called me an idiot.

“How can you dance to a song if you don't know what the words say? You are dancing a story.”

“Yes, but...” I was going to complain that as there were only a few set moves, how could that tell a story, but I didn't want to make myself look even more stupid.

“Now. Do it again. This time, do it properly. You have already collected a forfeit.”

“A...” I didn't get any further. The girls in the chorus were singing again, and I'd already missed the first two moves.

“And again.”

We went back over the pattern. I think at last I understood how to dance the story..

The girls stopped singing. The dancing mistress smiled and dropped her hands. “All right. I want to show you something else. Come with me.” She grinned at the other girls, who immediately started singing.

We walked about a hundred metres under the palms. My partner turned round suddenly and tripped me over, and dropped down on me.

“But...” I wasn't quite sure what I was going to say, but she hit me across the mouth and told me to shut up, and started undoing my trousers. “You are a Juan, and it is Midsummer's Day, so just do it.”

In the distance I could hear the choir still singing. It was high summer. It was my saint's day, and the girls in this part of the world have clearly made the day all their own. I wanted to ask her about it. I wanted to know what was allowed, and why, but now didn't seem the time to ask. In any case, she was being very rough with me, and I needed to concentrate to avoid her elbows.

Eventually she stopped, put one hand on my chin, and tilted up my face, staring hard at me. “Where do you live? Germany?”

I shook my head. “England, and in the dusty streets.”

“Well, England boy. Now you dance. Then you please the girls or they will throw you in the river.”

I smiled. “But there is no river.”

Oh dear. I must really be careful of these girls. She hit me again across the mouth, and my lips started to bleed.

We emerged from the trees, and she stood in front of me. The girls started the song that I had learned, and I thought I danced jolly well. There was much clapping when we finished.

My partner put her hands on her hips, made a face, and told me I danced like a pig, slapped me across the cheek and went back to her husband.

To be concluded...

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