Ferdinand the Bull

March 21, 2012


ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive: Filmography: Ferdinand the Bull (1938)

This is a story I heard a long time ago. I thought I would share it this morning. With spring in the air, it seems a good time:

Ferdinand was a bull. Now he was no ordinary bull – he was a Spanish bull. Being a Spanish bull, he was a romantic bull and boy did he love cows. Out of all the cows in the world, Ferdinand loved heifer cows the best. When he was about two years old, it was his time to go to the market and get a heard of his own.

After much haggling between the two men, Ferdinand was on his way to his new home walking beside his new human. You see, the farmer that bought young Ferdinand was poor but seemed a nice sort so things looked pretty good. As they walked the man talked with his new friend.

“Now Ferdinand,” said the man, “I don’t have much to offer you. If fact I am just starting a new heard and all the cows are still heifers.”

Ferdinand’s ears perked up even more, you don’t have to worry about me, the young bull thought, I’ll do my part.

And that he did. A couple of years later, the farmer was looking over his fields one morning and could see cows everywhere. In fact, he now had more cows than he could feed. “That Ferdinand sure is one good bull,” he told his wife. “I will have to do something about it thought; we cannot afford to feed all these cows. I will build a pen for him, just until I can take some of them to the market.”

Ferdinand watched the farmer build the pen and even help out by pulling the wagon for him. It was not until he was inside his finished home he began to understand something was wrong. Walking around the pen, he found he could not get to any of his cows. All he could do is look at the farmer with a deep sadness in his eyes.

“Now, now Ferdinand, do not worry. You will be back with your cows soon. I just have to take some to the market,” the farmer reassured him. “After that, things will be back to normal.”

Thinking on it, Ferdinand realized the farmer had been very good to him so he would play along for a few days and then just knock the fence down and visit his cows. After about a week, he was feeling kind of frisky when he awoke and looked out to see a group of cows about two-hundred yards away. Yep, today is the day, he thought. I’ll just bust out of here and pay those girls a visit.

Ferdinand back up a few yards and trotted at the fence and rammed it. It did not move. Hmm… this is going to take some effort, he told himself. Now as he looked out, the cows where about one-hundred yards off and he really wanted out of the pen. Moving halfway across the pen, he snorted once stamped the ground and charged the gate with enough speed he thought would carry him through. BOOM! Ferdinand hit the fence, again it did not move. This time the bull had to shake it off and was now mad. “How could my friend do this to me,” he let out in one long, low moo. To make it worse, now the cows were close enough to dive him wild. He was determined to get out.

Backing up to the far side of the pen, Ferdinand snorted and pawed the ground blowing dust up and he dropped his head low. Just like his cousins that fight the matadors, he charges with everything he had, this time the fence will surly fall! A KABOOM rings out as Ferdinand hits the fence and dust and dirt clouds swirl about. As the air clears a bit, there is Ferdinand, flat on the ground. Coming too, and shaking his head, he sees the fence held fast.

The cows came over to see what all the fuss was about and now he could rub noses with them. This just made him beyond sad as he knew he was trapped. Poor Ferdinand just wandered over to a tree away from the cows and dropped in huff to the ground and hung his head. Looking back over at his cows, he was just about to loose all hope when he really started looking at the fence.

All of the sudden, Ferdinand formed a new idea. I can jump that fence, he thought as the smile returned to his face and he stood with new energy. He looked at the fence again, I am sure of it, I can just jump it. Backing up to the far end of his pen and this time with more speed than he had ever run before, Ferdinand charges the fence. Getting to just the right spot, Ferdinand jumps with all his might and barely goes over the top and lands right next to this cute little heifer cow.

“Hey, you must be Ferdinand the Bull!” she moos with excitement.

“Just call me Ferdinand,” he moos back. “That fence was just a little higher than I thought!”

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