Feature on nine-year old bullfighter
Dateline: Mexico City - 9 April 2006
Date: 04/10/2006 11:28 PM
1. Nine-year-old Rafita Mirabal praying before bullfight
3. Bullfighters entering arena
4. Rafita Mirabal getting ready for his afternoon performance
5. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Rafael Mirabal Martinez, Father:
"His passion has always been bullfighting. He is in fourth grade and he always showed a love for bullfighting."
6. Rafita Mirabal about to face the bull
7. Rafita Mirabal facing the bull
8. Various of Rafita Mirabal fighting
9. Mid shot of Rafita being run over by bull
10. More of Rafita fighting
11. Rafita on manager, Jose San Martin, shoulders being cheered by audience
13. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Rafita Mirabal, Nine-year-old Bullfighter:
"Whether or not I get hit by the bull out there, I have to go out and do my job."
(Q: Why are you crying?)
"I am crying out of emotion"
14. Various of Rafita bullfighting
15. Rafita being attended by paramedics at ambulance vehicle
Nine-year-old Rafita Mirabal does what few nine-year-olds would do: face down a charging bull, armed with nothing but a cape and a short sword.
Mexico''s youngest matador has already taken on about two dozen fights in bullrings since 2005, including his latest challenge on Sunday in Texcoco, just east of Mexico City.
His father, a bullfight fan himself, sends his son into the ring without a qualm, because "his passion has always been bullfighting".
But the nine-year-old''s battles differ slightly from a regular bullfight: the animals are younger and somewhat smaller and he does not give the matador''s final death blow with his sword.
In Texcoco, Mirabal challenged a two-year-old "vaquilla" - a cow with horns - and nearly lost.
The animal tossed the boy into the air, swept him to the ground between its horns and then trampled him, but left him unharmed.
Two older bullfighters normally accompany and observe Mirabal in the ring, but avoid interfering in his fights.
Luckily, on Sunday, they were on hand to distract the animal, giving Mirabal time to dust himself off and immediately return to the fight.
"That was nothing," he said after the fight, though his eyes were filled with tears - "from emotion," he said.
Mirabal''s manager discovered the boy at a bullfighting school in the central state of Aguascalientes.
He billed the youngster as a "child prodigy" and arranged the boy''s total of 24 fights so far.
Keyword- wacky - animals