Some people from Saltillo will still have to remember Don Castulo. There are very diverse jobs in this world, and men sometimes have to devote themselves to very strange occupations to earn a living. Many of those jobs, certainly, have already disappeared. In those years of the Lord there were those who earned their living by shepherding cats. Someone else went house to house removing the cobwebs that formed on the top of the ceilings with a long pole. Doña Mariquita, the most devout devotee that Santo Cristo had, earned her daily bread by buying “El Diario” from Don Benjamin Cabrera to read it later, in exchange for agreed payment, to the illiterate women of the gallant life sheltered in the sinful neighborhood of Terán.
I doubt, however, that there has been a stranger occupation, a more pilgrim job, than the one Don Cástulo had. Let’s say it once and without embarrassment: Don Cástulo he was dedicated to picking up dog poop. He went through those streets of God – and of dogs – with a bag or small sack on his shoulder. He also carried an ingenious contraption consisting of a broom handle, to the end of which was fixed a tin container with a small door that could be opened by stretching a wire. Seeing a dog’s poop was for Don Cástulo the same as seeing a nugget of gold is for the Gambusino. He was going towards her and with movement that was not only effective, but also elegant, he collected the discarded canine in his apparatus. When she already had a competent portion of those feces from the stray stray dogs in it, she transferred them with minimal care to the sack and then continued the task.
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He wasn’t crazy, no, Don Cástulo. That his unique collection of what the dogs ate served him to eat himself.. According to what I have been told, in the destroyed dogs there is a certain substance that is very useful for tanning the skins or for some other treatment that must be given to the hides. At the end of the daily day, Don Cástulo directed his steps to a store and there he delivered his harvest and received the price of his diligent efforts. Everyone benefited: the corambrero obtained the raw material so necessary for his tannery, Don Cástulo obtained the modest daily wage that he required for his subsistence; The city was cleansed of the intestinal detritus of the canine scoundrels, and they could do their things without much remorse or blushing, in the confidence that the collector’s eagerness would put the garbage in its place.
That’s what Don Cástulo did every day of the week, except Sunday. That day he dressed in a morning coat and bowler hat, He wore a plastron collar and a bird tie, and, squeaky clean, he attended 12 o’clock mass in the Cathedral.. Then, very solemn, he walked with a gentlemanly attitude through the Plaza de Armas and turned a deaf ear when the street urchins, pointing out a dog poop, told him:
-Don Castulo! Look, Don Cástulo!
Don Cástulo is no longer alive, and therefore decent people cannot take a step through the streets of the city. without exposing yourself to stepping on your merchandise. Without indulging in vain lamentations of nostalgia, let us recognize that in Saltillo everything in the past was better, at least as far as dog poop is concerned.