Maybe it's about time i begin to explain myself about that rectangle of skin (nope! It's not real)where the very name of this humble place that we call Guelyland lays. Well, you see, i have this thing about jaguars that has grown very old and deep on me and I don't remember exactly since when, but i can say that when i was eight years old it was already there.
I remember that when i was a lad i use to write lists of animals and all those always started with the jaguar. In the begining i was confused cos my father use to tell me the old brazilian joke about "the friend of the onza" and that when in the Matto Grosso they offered him little "panthers" for sale. In the "Album de las Crías" there was this "yaguarete" cub. Then, in the zoo "El Parque de las Leyendas", in Lima, they have this beautiful "otorongo" in a cage. And yeah, you know it already, all of those are names for my dear jaguar (or Panthera Onca, according to good old Linnaeus ). I must have been talking a lot about jaguars and big cats with my cousins and brother because after a while Carlitos came up with the lynx and i don't remember if it was my brother Tito or cousin Osvaldo that came up with the cheetah as their favorite feline. But what i do remember well is that my friend Jorge "Bico"Torres came up with the leopard. We use to compete with our respective jaguar and leopard scrapbooks and he went to the zoo to take pictures of the leopard there and i instead some jaguar pics from books(!) with my father's camera (by the way the lion was dad's big cat of choice). In 1975 the Feline War was declared. Yes my friend "Bico" has decided for the one step further and to have leopard people behind him and I, well, I had no choice but recruit jaguars to fight on my side. It was a question of loyalty "I am a jaguar!", "Change my mind, now I'm a leopard!", "I don't know yet!". We were chasing each other in the school and then asking for which side you are "now you gonna tell me".
Much later i discovered that Borges had the same thing, but, about tigers (Panthera Tigris). I use to judge a book for it's jaguars. I didn't want and animal book or a dictionary or an card album or love an animal documentary if they didn't have a jaguar picture in. Sometimes i use to like the jaguarless books so much that I myself glued a cut out picture of a jaguar in the book so i could like it without remorse. I created The Green Jaguar that looked a bit too much like The Pink Panther. For a long time a post stamp of a jaguar was the holy grail of my days as philatelist.
Was it my favorite animal, a bit because we had jaguars in Peru? Well, yes, I guess. Now is like the opossite, I like Peru for not many more reasons then his jaguars.