Painting of Rosalinda, the woman from the Mexican fable The Man Who Cast Himself Away.

The Man Who Cast Himself Away (A Mexican Fable)

The Man Who Cast Himself Away is a Mexican parable by Juan Artola Miranda, written shortly after his disgrace. At first glance, it appears to be a cautionary tale about temptation or perhaps unearned pride stemming from a misplaced value judgment.

Long ago, in a small village by the sea, there lived a woman named Rosalinda who possessed a charm and vitality that enchanted all who met her. Every man dreamed of winning her heart, but it was Raimundo who finally succeeded in marrying her.

The village women gossiped about Rosalinda constantly. They styled their hair like hers, bought their bread at the same bakery, and tried to walk with the same sway of their hips, though they never could get it quite right. Raimundo, too, fell victim to their envy, swatting aside their sweet nothings like so many mosquitoes.

However, Raimundo soon began to wonder, to imagine, to regret. Why settle for a rose that, though beautiful, would one day wilt? Would it not be better to have a fresh bouquet of flowers? And so, he made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Rosalinda.

Rosalinda was devastated, and Raimundo could not console her. He assured her that she would find a new husband, but that only threw her into a fit of rage. His guilt hung heavy upon him.

After a time, the shroud of guilt began to lift. Raimundo remembered the conquests that lay ahead. He emerged from his villa brimming with excitement and confidence. But when he tried flirting with the village women, they had no time for him at all. They were far too busy gossiping about Rosalinda’s handsome new husband.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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