A Genuine Symbol of Portugal
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The Cock of Barcelos
The inhabitants were very disturbed by a crime of which it had not been possible to discover the author. One day, however, there appeared a man from Galicia, who was suspected of having committed it. He was arrested and, not-withstanding his protestations of innocence, nobody believed him when he said that he was on his way to Saint James of Compostelle (Spain) to fulfil a vow and that he was a fervant devotee of the Saint venerated in Compostela on a par with St. Paul and Our Lady. And so he was condemned to be hanged. But before the execution he asked to be taken to the presence of the judge who pronounced the sentence. His request was granted and they took him to the house of the magistrate, who was dining with some friends. The Galician once again protested his innocence and, to the amazement of those present, pointed to a roasted chicken on the table and exclaimed: "As surely as I am innocent will that cock crow if I am hanged!" There wa an outburst of laughter and comments, nevertheless nobody touched the cock. An what seemed impossible actually happened. When the pilgrim was being hanged, the cock stood up on the table and crowed. The judge rushed to the gallows and horrified saw the wretched man with the rope around his neck, but the knot was caught and thus prevented him from being strangled. He was immediately released and sent on his way in peace.
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The Old Legend of Barcelos Cock
Once at Barcelos, a small town on the North of Portugal, a certain man was condemned to be hanged. Convinced of his innocence and in order to prove it he implored a miracle to "Our Lady".
As his last wish he asked to be allowed ad Judje's (judges) home, who received him in his dining-room. Then the condemned under a sudden faith impulse said that, as a prove of his innocence, the roasted cock which was laying on the Judge's table, would get up and crow. Indeed the rooster immediatly jumped up and started crowing vibrantly. This legend has passed from generation to generation, and the typic "Cock of Barcelos" became a symbol of faith, justice and good luck.