Two Quarrelsome Blind Men

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

the rhythm?!

– 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

men’s leg.

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

gave us.

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

right away.

But the one named Chico was really fed up

this time.

– 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

hit João.

At this moment the fellow, who was still close

by, shouted:

– 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.