Good bullfight aficionados watch the bull as closely as they watch the bullfighter. They spend time at the corrals and speculate on the bull’s character and look for defects. And especially, when he breaks into the ring, they watch him as closely as you might watch a famous personality—one you will see only at a brief public appearance—for the smallest sign of a character trait, good or bad.
Bull called “Insensato”(Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license photo by Puertomenesteo)
People who have no experience with animals of any kind would be surprised to learn that they are all different—that no two cats or dogs or even turtles are the same. Aficionados train themselves to become bull psychologists and veterinarians. Seconds after a bull appears in the ring the call might go up from the grandstands “Lame!” or “Blind in the left eye!” or “A coward!” or “Watch that left horn!” They see very quickly where each bull chooses to make his stand and how. They have no use for a bullfighter who fails to see those things or to take them into account while he fights. Many aficionados are called TORISTAS (as opposed to TORERISTAS) because they seem interested only in the bull, considering that it is the bull that determines the success of the fight. The bullfighter merely has to understand his bull and act accordingly. But understanding a bull is not easy. “I don’t think even the cows understand them,” the famous bullfighter Miguel Dominguín used to say.