In the Spanish village of La Mancha, there lived a gentleman who loved to read. His favorite stories were of knights and their code of chivalry: full of dragons, magic swords, enchanted forests, and damsels in distress.
This gentleman was not a wealthy man, but rather a hidalgo. A hidalgo was a landowner who was richer than a peasant, but poorer than a nobleman. His name was Senor Quixano.
Senor Quixano lived modestly with his housekeeper and his young niece. He was a tall, thin man in his fifties. He was a strong and healthy man, who went hunting every morning.
However, he started to read adventure stories all the time. His best friends, the local priest and the village barber, were worried. Their friend suddenly began spending night and day in his chair, reading adventure books through crazed, bloodshot eyes.
Soon he started thinking these stories were true. Finally he went completely crazy.
Waking up in his reading chair one morning, Senor Quixano announced, “I’m going to become a knight-errant!”
‘‘A what?” asked his concerned niece.
«A knight-errant is a righter of wrongs, a friend to the unfortunate, a rescuer of fair maidens, and a killer of dragons!”
«But Uncle,» she cried, “there are no dragons in Spain! And who are these maidens who need rescuing?”
The old man went to the attic of his house and found a rusty old suit of armor. He put the suit on and felt ready for action.
In a bold voice, he announced, «Now, to my faithful steed !v
This “steed” was really a worn-out nag. But to his delusional eyes, it was a valiant war horse.
“I name you Rocinante, Queen of the hacks! And I will call myself. .
He took a moment to think of the perfect name. “Don Quixote!»
“Now I must dedicate my life to a lady!’
“Do you know a lady?” sobbed the man’s niece, frightened by his insane ramblings.
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