It’s all part of Spain’s centuries-old fascination with bulls, with animals used in public as a test of bravery and part of the national identity. Spaniards also run with bulls in northern Pamplona every year, spear them to death from horseback in a town called Tordesillas and cordon off town squares to let children dodge feisty calves bred to become top-fighter bulls.
Sueca’s mayor, Salvador Campillo, was torn on whether to let Mouse perform in his small city after this year’s fatal goring by the bull. In the end, he decided to go ahead because he’s a bull run fan.
“Raton is a bull that gives a great show, he never stops,” Campillo said with a smile.
The town’s annual end of summer party also features an international paella cooking competition in place since 1961. The contest attracted chefs this year from top restaurants from Spain and France, plus one from Chicago.
Campillo said de Jesus told him that the Sueca event would be Mouse’s last real run before retirement, but de Jesus insisted he won’t decide until next year whether Mouse will be put to pasture to breed “some little Mouses” with a chance of inheriting the bull’s agility, aggression, intelligence and speed.
Mouse’s eventual retirement will probably prove lucrative for his owner, Campillo said, because cow owners who want mating privileges with the bull may have to pay as much as euro3,000 ($4,145) for each use of his services.