The writer Augusto MonterrosoHe was born in the city of Tegucigalpa in 1921. He was known as Tito Monterroso and from a very young age he dedicated himself to his training in a self-taught way. He grew up in Honduras, but acquired Guatemalan nationality when he came of age. He also lived in Mexico for several years during his exile and there he deepened his foray into the literary field. He worked in the Guatemalan embassy in Mexico and married the renowned writer Bárbara Jacobs. His style of narrative can be taken as simple, sarcastic, critical and very witty, in fact, many consider that his writing is somewhat indefinite since it oscillates between the fable and the short story, but always with a clear sense of humor that characterizes. In 2003, at the age of 83, he died of heart failure. He is one of the most recognized Latin American authors of recent times.
Best known fables by Augusto Monterroso
- Summary: In a distant country, a black sheep was born that, being so different from the others, was slaughtered by the herd. Years later, the white sheep repented of the act and carved a statue in their honor. And so it continued to be for each black sheep that was born, so that common white sheep perfected their art with each sculpture they erected.
- Moral: Instead of pointing out and condemning the difference as a bad thing, you have to accept to avoid the regret that arrogance and indifference always generate.
The chameleon who finally didn’t know what color to wear
- Summary: In a jungle country, animals began to use a strategy to counter the chameleon who engaged in politics with ambiguity and hypocrisy. They used colored crystals to see the chameleon and then each other, of a specific color according to need. Thus the entire city was blinded to the colors of reality by all the colored crystals that apparently overlapped.
- Moral: Opinions can vary depending on the tone that is given and the perspective of each person. In political matters, colors are usually changed according to the circumstances to cushion the facts, and you have to be careful with this.
The Master Cricket
- Summary: At school, the principal passed by the classrooms and stopped to listen to the teacher cricket’s lesson. He told his students that there was no sound more beautiful and harmonious than that of crickets, and that for their part, birds were wrong to use their throats to emit what they said to call sounds in the art of singing. The director, who was also a cricket, was pleased that the teachings continued as they were in his day.
- Moral: Everyone has different abilities and none is better than another. Some will believe that their ways are the best and to refuse new opportunities and alternatives is a blinding mistake.
The frog that wanted to be a real frog
- Summary: A frog wished to be completely authentic, began by looking in the mirror to find the way, then began to comb and groom itself so that others could check its authenticity, going so far as to do anything to achieve it. In the end, some cooked and tasted its legs, agreeing, despite themselves, that the frog tasted like chicken.
- Moral: You will hardly find authenticity in the opinions of others, or by following the opinion of others in search of approval. Your own criteria are worth more.
The giraffe who suddenly understood that everything is relative
- Summary: A giraffe, who was clueless, got lost in the jungle and ended up, unintentionally, on a battlefield. The enemy sides faced each other causing great losses and all died believing that they were fighting heroically, each side claimed to be making history. Suddenly, a bullet nearly flew into the giraffe’s head, and from the same perspective with which he looked at the futile war, he realized that if she were taller or the barrel were lower, she would certainly have hit the target and I would die. Suddenly he understood that everything was relative.
- Moral: It is good to know that everything in life is relative and that depending on the times and circumstances you can believe in something that is considered unique or the truth of the story.
The owl who wanted to save humanity
- Summary: An owl, who cared about others, set out to study humanity in order to do something about it. The more he analyzed the shortcomings of others and their relationships, the more he realized that it was necessary to put himself in the situation of others for there to be justice. This was an apparently unnatural effort, so the animals laughed and nothing changed.
- Moral: Any change requires that everyone be aware of the need to do so. Nobody changes because someone else wants it, whether it be for their own good or that of their community.