They were both blind. One was called Chico
and the other was called João. The first one was
a singer and also played the guitar. The other
accompannied on drums, on the tambourine and
on rattles. Every single day, the two of them went
the square near the church, sat on the sidewalk
and played music to get alms from people. And
every day they picked a fight.
– Chico, come on, sing decently, man! You’re
always out of tune!
A version of a popular tale
By Ricardo Azevedo*
– What about you, who can’t even follow
– Will you tune up this guitar, you twit?!
– You can’t even play the drums!
– Shut up, you fool!
– I’ll show you who’s a fool, you pesky blind!
One day, a fellow walked by the square and
decided to pull the two quarrelsome blind
He leaned near one of them and said:
– I liked the music very much. I will give you 20
reais, but it’s to be shared between the two of you.
He said it, but didn’t leave any money at all.
The two blind men went on playing, now
happy as a lark.
When they finished, the singer said:
– João, gimme my half of those 20 reais the guy
The other one was surprised:
– What do you mean, Chico? The guy gave the
money to you!
Now the singer got upset:
– Shame on you, João, give me the money
But the one named Chico was really fed up
– Shame on me? What are you taking me for?
You trying to pull a trick on me?
And the other one:
– You’re lying so that you can keep all of the
And the quarrel turned into a fight. João got
hold of the tambourine and tried to throw it to
hit Chico. Chico grabbed the guitar and tried to
At this moment the fellow, who was still close
– No! Stop! Be careful! Mind the knife!
When he heard this, Chico thought that João
had pulled a knife. João thought the same.
The two blind men jumped up high, each
one in a different direction and started to run,
stumbling and tripping and shouting for help.
People say they haven’t stopped running yet.