An educational walk in the Spanish Woods

Last Friday a Scooby worker took his dog and me out for a nice evening walk in the pine woods near Medina del Campo. After a hot summer day it was nice to take a walk in the evening, in the shadow, watching the sun set between the trees. But this walk proved to be more than a casual walk, it became a interesting learning experience for me about the Galgueros (the men who go hunting rabbits with the Galgos).

During our walk we passed by a dry water well and the worker whistled into the well. I asked him why he was doing that and he told me the story about one day he was walking here with his dog, when his dog started to bark at the well. He went to see what was wrong and he heard a soft howl coming from the bottom of the well. He called the fire department and they came to get the dog out of there. During this operation the fireman who went into the well even almost died, trying to save this dog, because of the lack of oxygen on the bottom of the well. I know that Galgueros through their dogs in wells to get rid of them, but it is a strange experience to actually see a well that dogs have been thrown into and almost all are never found and die in the dark, wounded and alone.

We continued the walk and he wanted to show me the wholes where the foxes live in the woods. But when we found one he stopped and looked at the ground. There was a dead fox. And he told me with a sad face that the Galgueros had been here earlier to poison the foxes. Why would you want to do that? - I asked. Because foxes eat rabbits and they want the rabbits to stay alive for the hunt. Poor foxes.

We walked on because he wanted to show me the biggest pine tree in the woods. Finally, a positive thing he can show me. And, compared to the other trees, it was a beautiful big old tree! Must be over a hundred years old? - I asked. But he was searching for something on the ground. Last time I walked here – he said- I found a dead eagle. It had been shot out of this tree. Why? – I asked again. Because it eats rabbits…

Wow, incredible. So it´s not only the Galgos and rabbits who suffer a lot from the yearly hunts, also innocent predators that naturally eat rabbits get killed for this stupid tradition. Why?