11. The Thorn
As he came into the pasture, Platero began to limp. I dropped down to the ground.
“But what’s the matter lad?”
Platero held his right forefoot slightly raised showing its sole, weak and limp, its hoof barely touching the burning sand of the path.
With a solicitude which was greater, no doubt, than that of old Darbón, his doctor, I turned back his forefoot and looked at its red sole. A long green thorn from a healthy orange tree was stuck in it like a little round dagger of emerald. Shaken by Platero’s suffering, I pulled out the thorn; I led the poor animal to the stream of the yellow iris so that the running water might lick his little wound with its long pure toungue.
Aferwards we went on toward the white sea, I walking in front and he behind, still limping and nudging me gently on the shoulder.