Brazilians in general are very religious and over 85% of the population declares itself Christian, meaning that there are about 166 million people who claim to be Catholic or Protestant in Brazil.
In this sense, it’s very natural to have many legends that originates from Christianity, and this is just one example among many in Brazil.
So, let’s get to it! The “Little Black Grazing Boy” is an African-Christian legend told in the very late nineteenth century by the Brazilians who defended the end of slavery and was originated in the south of the country.
Legend has it that in times of slavery, there was an evil rancher that used to constantly punish his slaves and pedestrians, and on a cold winter day, the farmer sent a fourteen years old black boy to shepherd the horses and foals that he had just bought.
In the afternoon, when the boy returned, the rancher noticed that a bay horse was missing, so he picked up the whip, beat the boy and left him naked and bleeding in an anthill.
Next morning, when he went to see the boy, the rancher he was startled. The boy was there, but standing with smooth skin and no marks of lashes or ants bites. Beside him were Virgin Mary and the other horses.
The rancher threw himself on the ground asking for forgiveness, but the black boy didn’t answered him, but instead, kissed Virgin Mary’s hand, mounted on horse and left.
After that, regional drovers and lorry drivers reported to have seen pass a group of grays horses, played by a black boy mounted on a bay horse, and many lighted candles and prayed for the tortured soul.
Till these days, The Grazing Boy is considered by those who believe in the legend as the protector of the people who loses something. According to the belief, if you miss something, just ask for the pastoral boy help to find it. In return, one should light a candle to the child or buy a plant or flower.