Horrific Animals in the Roma

in murals •  7 months ago 

Shocking Childhood Memory

Turning the corner at Guanajuato and Mérida streets in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, I froze in my tracks when I saw this enormous mural. Immediately I felt the chill run down my spine, as it brought back some almost forgotten childhood memories. I must have been around four or five years old when a picture book seriously messed with my mind. It was an illustrated Fables of La Fontaine, whose stories I actually enjoyed quite a lot when my mom read them to me. Unlike with other illustrated books, however, I asked her to do it from a safe distance, so I wouldn't have to look at the scary pictures.


They were not gory or in any way depicting anything inappropriate for young eyes. It was just the style of the art that freaked me out, the way the artist made use of lines and shadows... actually, a lot like in this wall painting! However, the scariness of the pictures in the book would keep my curiosity alive. Not wanting to be a baby who's afraid of images, I would gather my courage, usually on a sunny afternoon, and bravely open the book slowly... before shutting it again quickly, and running out of my room. I could only take so much of it. Ten minutes later I would be back though, attempting again. Oh, the things a young child can get a kick out of!

The Fox, the Rabbit, and the Rope

Once these memories came shooting through my mind, I started getting excited about this mural. Over four stories tall, it was painted on the back wall of an apartment building, facing a parking lot, so I could access it, get a good look, and take some pictures. Of course the light was all wrong, coming from the front, but I didn't care. I had to capture this image that reminded me of my book with those frightening pictures. Now I actually wish I still had it, or at least knew the name of the illustrator.


As I was observing the mural, I tried to remember any of the fables it could go with, but I didn't manage to. Instead, this is my own way of telling the story based on the picture: The fox gets caught in some ropes (a trap, probably, set out by humans) and asks the rabbit to chew through them and set him free. Kind-hearted and gullible, the rabbit obliges, liberating the fox from the gruesome death waiting for him. And in exchange for saving his life, I could imagine that the fox would return the favor by... that's right, eating the rabbit.


Is this an actual fable, by La Fontaine, Aesop, or someone else? Honestly, I don't know. A brief search on the topic didn't reveal anything. Could it be that my book left me with a deeper trauma than I thought, having suppressed the more upsetting fables (or maybe the ones with the most upsetting illustrations) in the depths of my young psyche? Maybe. So should this mural or my interpretation thereof remind you of any fables, please let me know!

If you liked this, check out my developing series on Mexican murals:  

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@tipu curate

Upvoted 👌 (Mana: 5/15 - need recharge?)

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His publications always surprise me, because you have great creativity to give your readers, as for the images, I see that the painting is very realistic, that also surprised me. Thanks for sharing.
Ha sido votado por @team-mexico