“¡Que tontería de gallito!”

The cockerel weather vane looking over the Plaza de la Independencia.

Once upon a time, as all good fairy tales begin, there was a rich and arrogant man who lived in the colonial city of Quito. This gentleman lived like a prince and thought himself better than the people of the city, better than his peers, and even better than the proud cockerel that served as a weather vane on top of the Cathedral of Quito. In fact, he would make it a daily practice to insult the cockerel as he passed by,

“¡Que tontería de gallito!”

“What a stupid little rooster!”

One night, after an evening of carousing in a local inn, this prosperous yet prideful man decided to again stop and berate the proud rooster. The rooster lost all patience and, against all odds, he removed himself from his metal perch and flew down to attack the drunkard. The cockerel jabbed and stabbed and poked until the man covered his head and ran away in terror, his hateful words halted mid-sentence.

The following morning the man awoke to find himself covered in wounds. Although he recalled an attack by the cockerel, he had a hard time believing that a weather vane could have castigated him in such a manner. But injuries don’t lie, so the overbearing gentleman chose to stop drinking anything but water and to never insult the cockerel again.

For ever after, the cockerel has remained at his post, overlooking Quito, serving as a compass to the four winds. Nary a rumor exists that he has left his post since colonial times, but be warned as you walk through the Plaza de la Independencia as he is always on the look out for people filled with too much pride.

The End.

La Catedral de Quito with the weather vane at the far left.

Great thanks to our guide, Adriana, and to an unknown blogger from Flicker.com for this story in Spanish… as with all good fairy tales, I have taken the liberty to tell it as I see fit. Any part that does not fit with legend is completely my fault alone.


2 thoughts on ““¡Que tontería de gallito!”

  1. Angie,
    What a great space that cathedral makes! Lots of space for walking, wonderful connections to the town…Thanks for the story, too!


    • I’ll have to post some photos of the Plaza… last Sunday people were everywhere, sitting, strolling, strumming instruments, chatting with friends. I loved it! The weekday had a slightly different vibe… lots of vendors and little kids offering to polish shoes but still many people just sitting outside enjoying the nice weather.


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