Category Archives: Country of the Blind

Our adaptation of H.G. Wells’s classic tale The Country of the Blind (Final chapter)

When Nunez thought of the blind world in the valley below, he knew that it was not his world. He thought about turning around, about looking down at it one last time. But he didn’t. He kept his eyes on the snow and ice and kept climbing.

He thought of home and the world beyond the mountains. His world. He thought of all the towns and villages with their houses and busy streets. He thought of the countryside with its rivers that ran all the way to the sea. The sea – its endless waves, its sandy islands. And ships! Ships out at sea on journeys around the greater world.

Nunez looked up. He saw a route up the mountains and followed it. As he continued to climb, he thought of Medina sarote. She was beautiful, but with every step, she was growing further and further away…

When sunset came, he was high above the valley. His clothes were torn and his body was covered with blood. All around him, mountain peaks rose into the vast and darkening sky. It was a truly beautiful evening. He lay on the bare earth with the smile on his face. ‘I have escaped from the Country of the Blind, the place where I wanted to be king,’ he said to himself.

When the cold night came, Nunez slept peacefully; a content man under the stars.

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Adaptation of H.G.Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch17)

For a week before the operation, Nunez did not sleep. Day after day, others in the village slept, but he walked about in the bright sunlight and thought about the operation. Then at last, the day before the operation came. He spent a few minutes with Medina-Sarote before she went to bed.

‘Tomorrow,’ he said, ‘I shall see no more.’

‘Dearest sweetheart,’ she said and squeezed his hand. ‘The operation will only hurt a little. One day I will repay you.’

Nunez felt nothing but pity – for himself and for her. He held her in his arms, kissed her, and looked into her sweet face. `Goodbye,’ he said. Then in silence, he turned away.

Medina- Sarote could hear his footsteps as they retreated. Something in their sound made her cry.

Nunez wanted to be alone. There was a quiet place in the meadows, a place with thick green grass and narcissus flowers. He went and lay down. ‘I will stay here until it is time,’ he thought. Then he fell asleep. When morning came, Nunez lifted his eyes to the rising sun. It rose above the mountains. ‘It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,’ he thought. Nunez got up and started to walk. It was a new day, it was his last day of sight, and there was beauty everywhere.

Our adaptation of H.G.Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch16)

‘Do you want the doctors to take out my eyes?’ Nunez asked Medina-sarote.

Medina-sarote said nothing.

‘Seeing – having sight – is my world,’ he told her.

She lowered her head.

‘There are beautiful things,’ Nunez told her, ‘beautiful little things that I can see – flowers, the lichens on the rocks, a piece of fur, the sky with its clouds, the sunsets and the stars at night. And then there is you. Your sweet face, your kind lips, your beautiful hands folded together… It is my eyes that hold me to you; every day when I see you, it is like seeing you for the first time. But you want be to lose my eyes. Must I only touch you? Must I only hear you? Must I never see you again? Is this want you want? Must I come into that dark world?’

Nunez stopped talking and let her think about the question. He didn’t feel good.

‘You…’ she said and stopped.


‘Please do not say these things,’ said Medina-sarote.

‘What things?’

‘I know it is your imagination,’ said Medina-sarote, ‘I used to love it, but now…’

‘And now?’ he asked.

Medina-sarote sat very still.

Nunez felt angry, but he also felt sympathy for her. It hurt her to say these things to him. He knew that. They sat in silence for a long time.

When Nunez finally spoke, he was almost whispering. `If I agreed to this…’ he said.

As soon as he spoke, Medina-sarote threw her arms around him.

Our adaptation of H.G. Wells’s Country of the Blind Chapter 15

The elders thought for a long time about Nunez. He was a problem, but they wanted to help him. There was a doctor amongst the people of the blind, a medicine man. He was clever and curious.

One day the medicine man went to speak to Yacob about Nunez.

‘I have examined Bogota,’ he told Yacob. ‘I have good news.’

‘What is it?’ Jacob asked.

‘Bogota talks about strange things. He says that he has eyes. These eyes have eyelids and they move all the time. I think they affect his brain and therefore his thinking. But I can cure him.’

‘How?’ Yacob asked.

‘It’s a simple thing: we must remove his eyes. After that, I am sure he can become a good citizen of the village.’

Jacob was happy. At once, he went to tell Nunez that the medicine man could cure him. But when he told Nunez, Nunez did not welcome the news.

Yacob was angry. `Don’t you care for my daughter?’ he asked. ‘Is she more important than these strange things called eyes? Tell me!’ he said.

Country of the Blind (Ch14)

Nunez loved talking to Medina-sarote. After a while, he started to speak to her when she was out of sight. Medina-sarote listened to him; to his description of the stars, the mountains, and her own beauty. She could only understand a little, but the mystery of it thrilled her.

Nunez’s love for Medina-sarote grew. He wanted to marry her. But Medina-sarote was afraid. Medina-sarote’s sisters liked Nunez, but they did not approve of his desire to marry their sister. The young men in the village also disapproved of the idea. One man got into a fight with Nunez. He hit Nunez, but Nunez took advantage of his sight and knocked the man to the ground. After this no one tried to fight with Nunez again. But they still thought the marriage was impossible.

Yacob loved his daughter. When she cried, it upset him. `Nunez is an idiot,’ he said. ‘Nunez cannot do anything right.’

‘I know,’ cried Medina-sarote. `But he is better than before. And he is strong and kind – stronger and kinder than anyone else. He loves me and I love him. ‘Yacob thought about this for some time. In the end, he spoke to the elders – the wise men of the village. `My daughter loves Nunez and wants to marry him,’ he told them. ‘And in truth, I like Nunez too. Day by day, he is getting better. Perhaps soon, he will be just like us.’

‘We will think about it,’ the elders told him.

Our adaptation of Country of the Blind Chapter 12

Nunez hid in the cave. The hours passed slowly. Sometimes, the words `In the Country Of The Blind – The One Eyed Man is King’ sang in his head. But mostly, Nunez thought about fighting. How could he fight these blind people? He had no weapons, and there were many of them.

After two days, he was very hungry. He tried to find some food in the forest at night. He tried to catch a llama. ‘But what can I kill it with? A stone?’ The llama was not easy to catch. It ran away every time Nunez got near it. On the second day, he started to shiver and feel very afraid. He crawled out of the cave and followed the river down to the houses. He shouted out, and two blind men came to meet him. When they saw him, they opened the gate to the town and let him in.

‘I’m sorry. I was mad,’ Nunez said, `but I was newly made. I couldn’t help it.’

The blind people listened and Nunez talked more. He told them that he was wiser now, and he was sorry for everything. He cried. He did not want to, but he was weak with hunger.

The blind men listened carefully. They talked amongst themselves. Then they said: ‘Can you still “see”?’

`No,’ Nunez replied immediately. `The word means nothing to me – less than nothing.’ Again he cried. Then he said: ‘Before you ask any more questions, give me some food or I shall die!’

Our adaptation of The Country of the Blind (Ch11)

‘Bogota!’ one man called out. ‘Bogota! Where are you?’

Nunez didn’t move. ‘Should I attack them,’ he wondered again. The blind men moved closer. Nunez held his spade tightly and moved towards them. ‘If one touches me,’ thought Nunez, `I will hit him.’

‘No one come near me!’ he shouted.

But the men ran at him, grabbing the air with their hands, trying to find him. They made a circle and surrounded him. ‘Leave me alone!’ he cried.

‘Bogota! Put down that spade and come off the grass,’ one of the men said.

This made Nunez angry. `My name is not Bogota! I will hurt you. I will. Leave me alone!’

Nunez saw a space in the circle around him and ran towards it. But the men heard him and the circle tightened. Nunez swung his spade. ‘Swish!’ The spade struck an arm and one of the men fell down with a sharp cry of pain. When the man fell, a space in the circle opened. At once, Nunez ran through the gap. He ran towards the streets and houses again. Behind him, he heard footsteps. The blind men were chasing him. They had spades and sticks too and were trying to him hit. A tall man came close. Nunez threw his spade at him, but missed.

Nunez was panicking. And he was tiring. Then he tripped and fell. When he looked up, he saw a hole in a wall of rock in front of him. A cave! Was it big enough to hide in? He jumped to his feet and made a mad run for it. When he reached the hole, he squeezed inside and sat down.

The blind men did not know where he was…

For now, he was safe.

Our adaptation of H. G. Wells’s classic tale The Country of the Blind (Chapter 10)

Nunez was desperate. He wanted to show them the power and benefit of sight. ‘I could fight the blind men,’ he thought. ‘That would show them the advantage of sight.’ He picked up a spade. But he couldn’t do it: he couldn’t hit a blind man.

With the spade in his hand, he looked at the blind men who were standing around him with their heads to one side, listening.

Then one spoke. ‘Put down that spade,’ he said.

Nunez couldn’t believe it. How could they know? Suddenly, he felt angry. He pushed away one of the men and ran out of the village. He ran through a field of grass. When he eventually stopped, he sat on the grass and looked out towards the village. The blind men were coming out of their houses with sticks and spades. As Nunez watched, they came into the field. They were walking slowly and talking to each other. Sometimes they would shout, and sometimes they would stop and sniff the air.

One of the blind men leaned down. Bent at his waist, his head close to the ground, he came towards Nunez, feeling his way with his fingers. For five minutes, Nunez watched the wall of men come towards him. He stood up, the spade still in his hands. He had a sudden idea. ‘Should I attack them?’ Nunez wondered. He moved quietly towards the blind men. But as soon as he moved, the blind men began sniffing the air like dogs, turning their heads from side to side.

Like a song, strange words ran through Nunez’s head: ‘In The Country of The Blind the One Eyed Man is King!’

Our adaptation of H.G.Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch9)

The people of the valley lived a simple life, and they worked hard. They had food and clothing, and they had days of rest with singing and dancing.

Nunez marvelled at the valley people’s confidence and meticulousness. Everything was made to suit their needs. All the paths ran side by side and they were clean and free from obstacles. Different markings distinguished the different paths. The valley people’s senses were marvellous: they could hear the slightest movement – even the beating of a heart – and they could smell the slightest scent.

Once or twice, some people tried to listen to Nunez when he told them about his eyes and his ability to see. They sat with their heads down and ears turned towards him. He did his best to tell them of his world, the beauty of sight, the world beyond the mountains, the sky and the sunrise. They listened amused and bewildered. ‘No,’ they told him. ‘There are no mountains, only rocks where the llamas graze. After the rocks, it is the end of the world.’ They told him that his thoughts were wicked and untrue, so Nunez gave up.

One day, Nunez saw Pedro coming towards him. The people around Nunez had no idea: they couldn’t hear or smell Pedro. Nunez wanted to show the advantage of sight and said: ‘Pedro is coming here on path seventeen.’

The people around Nunez scoffed. `Not true. Pedro has no right to be on path seventeen.’

‘He is coming here,’ said Nunez. ‘Just wait.’ But Pedro turned and walked down path ten in the other direction. The people laughed at Nunez when Pedro didn’t arrive. When Nunez asked Pedro questions about him being on the path, he denied it and became hostile towards Nunez.

Our adaptation of H. G. Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch8)

Nunez liked beautiful things. He loved the snow and the glaciers above the valley. ‘They are the most beautiful things in the world,’ he thought, ‘and I am very grateful because I can see.’ He was thinking this when he heard a voice.

‘Hey! Bogota! Come down here!’

Nunez stood up and smiled. ‘I’m going to play at trick. I won’t make a sound, and they won’t be able to find me.’

‘Why don’t you move, Bogota?’ the voice asked.

Nunez smiled and moved two steps away from the path.

‘Do not stand on the grass, Bogota. It is not allowed.’

Nunez was amazed. He didn’t even hear himself move.

The owner of the voice ran up the path towards him.

Nunez stepped on to the path again. `Here I am,’ he said.

`Why did you not come when I called you?’ the blind man asked. `Are you a child? Can you not hear the path when you walk on it?’

Nunez laughed. `I can see it. I don’t need to hear it!’

The man paused. `See? What do you mean? There is no such word.’ The man started to walk. `Follow the sound of my feet,’ he said.

Nunez followed him, but he was feeling a little annoyed.

`There is much to learn in this world,’ said the man.

`Don’t you know, ` said Nunez, `that in the Country of the Blind, the One-eyed Man Is King!’

`What is blind?’ asked the man.


Days and days passed. Nunez wanted to be king in the valley. He didn’t like working at night and sleeping during the day. He wanted to change this, but the valley people didn’t listen. For them, the ‘king’ was just a child.

Our adaptation of H.G. Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch7)

An older man began to question Nunez, and Nunez tried to describe his world: the sky, the mountains, the people, and all the other wonderful things in it. The old men sat and listened – and believed nothing. Fourteen generations ago, these people became blind and were cut off from the rest of the world. The stories of another, different world were just fairy stories, they thought. Nunez slowly understood the differences between him and the people of the valley. The valley people believed their elders and questioned nothing. Their days were ‘warm and cold’ and not ‘day and night’. They said it was good to sleep in the warm and work in the cold. For them, light meant nothing.

Nunez was there, the elders said, to learn about their world, and all the people in the room agreed. They asked Nunez, `Do you know how to sleep?’ because he came to them in the warm time when they usually slept and woke them.

`I know how to sleep,’ Nunez told them, ‘but first I want food.’

They brought him food – llama’s milk in a bowl and salted bread – and took him away to a quiet place. There, they left him to eat and sleep until evening – the start of their day – came.

But Nunez didn’t sleep. He thought about his situation. Sometimes he laughed and sometimes he shook his head in bewilderment.

`They think I am from the rocks and newly born,’ he laughed. ‘But I will teach them…’ He began thinking hard.

He was still thinking when the sun set.

Our adaptation of H.G.Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch6)

Nunez found this first meeting with the villagers difficult. Some children came to meet him. They were pretty though their eyes were closed and sunken. They touched and smelled him and listened to his every word. The three men kept close to him. ‘The man from the rock,’ the villagers said over and over again.

‘I’m from Bogota,’ Nunez said, `from over the mountain.’

‘A wild man – he is using wild words,’ said Pedro. `Did you hear that? Bogota! His mind is only young; he doesn’t know words!’

A little boy squeezed his hand. `Bogota!’ he said and laughed.

‘Yes,’ said Nunez. ‘In my world, people have eyes and can see.’

‘His name is Bogota,’ the villagers said.

‘He stumbled when he walked. He stumbled twice!’ Correa said. ‘Take him to the elders.’

Soon, they pushed Nunez through a doorway and into a very dark room. At the far side, there was a fire. The crowd came in behind Nunez. Suddenly, Nunez fell over someone’s legs and landed on some people.

‘I fell down,’ he said, `because I cannot see well in this room.’ He tried to stand again, but he couldn’t. Strong hands held him down.

`He stumbles because he is newly-made,’ said Correa. Others spoke too, but Nunez couldn’t understand them.

`May I sit up?’ Nunez asked. `I won’t struggle.’

The people agreed and Nunez sat up.

Chapter 5 of H. G. Wells’s classic Country of the Blind

Nunez greeted the men and watched them closely.

`Where does he come from?’ one man asked another.

`Down from the rocks…’ the second man replied.

`I came from over the mountain,’ Nunez told them. ‘In my country, all men can see. My city is near Bogota. There are thousands of people there. The city stretches far out of sight…’

`Sight?’ said the first man. `What is sight?’

`He came,’ said the third man, `out of the rocks.’

They moved towards Nunez, their arms out stretched. Nunez stepped away.

`Come here,’ said the third man and held Nunez. The blind men felt Nunez all over.

`Careful!’ cried Nunez when one of their fingers found his eye. This organ was strange to them. They felt it again and again.

‘A strange creature,’ said the second man. `Feel his hair! It is like llama hair!’

‘He feels hard and rough, just like the rocks he came from,’ said the first man and felt Nunez’s chin. Nunez tried to get free, but they held him firm.

`Careful,’ said Nunez again.

`He speaks, so he is certainly a man. Tell me again. Where did you come from?’ the second man asked.

‘I came from a place over there,’ said Nunez, and he pointed to the mountains. But the three blind men did not look. `I walked over the glacier, about twelve days journey from here.’

The men seemed not to hear him. `This is a marvellous occasion,’ said the second man. `The old men told us stories about men from the rocks…’

`Let us take him to the elders,’ said the third man and the three men tried to take Nunez’s hand. Nunez pulled his hand away. `I can see,’ he said, but then he stumbled into one of the men’s pails.

`His senses are not good,’ said the second man. `He stumbles and uses strange words. We must lead him by the hand.’ The men took Nunez’s hand, and Nunez let them.

‘They know nothing about sight,’ thought Nunez. ‘But in time, I will teach them.’

Our adaptation of H. G. Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch4)

Along a path in the valley below, Nunez saw three men. The men walked slowly in line, one next to the other. Their clothes were made of llama wool. On their heads, they wore black hats; and in their hands, they had pails. Nunez was happy to see the men. He stood on a rock and shouted. His voice echoed around the valley.

The three men stopped and looked around. They looked left and right. ‘Up here!’ Nunez shouted and waved, but the men did not see him. The men walked this way and that, but they still did not see Nunez. `The fools must be blind,’ Nunez said angrily. ‘What’s the matter with them?’

Finally, Nunez decided to go to the three men. He climbed down and came towards the small group.

The three men stood side by side; their ears directed at him, not looking at him, listening to his steps. They looked a little afraid. Nunez could not see their eyes; they were closed and sunk deep in their heads.

‘There is a man,’ one of the men said. ‘It is a man, and he is coming down from the mountain.’

Nunez walked towards them confidently. Now he understood: the men were blind. Nunez remembered all the old stories about The Country of the Blind, and he thought about an old proverb from long ago.

`In the Country of the Blind – the one-eyed man is king.’

Chapter 3 of H.G.Wells’s classic story The Country of the Blind

Nunez was a mountaineer. He was also a sailor, but he liked to climb the most. He was a good climber, and he was in Ecuador to climb Parascotopetl, the ‘Matterhorn of the Andes’. On the way to the top of Parascotopetl, Nunez had an accident and fell. He fell down the east of Parascotopetl and landed in deep snow. His companions searched hard but could not find him. After some time, they gave up: they believed Nunez was dead. But Nunez survived.

Nunez fell over a thousand feet down an icy slope. He did not break a single bone. But when he landed, he lay unconscious for a while. When Nunez eventually opened his eyes, he saw a valley far below. There were many trees, and he saw small, stone houses too. He did not know it, but it was the Country of the Blind. He stood up. His bones and muscles ached from the fall, but slowly he started to climb down towards the valley. On the way, he saw many beautiful flowers and crops in the valley’s fields. He also saw llamas and huts to keep them in. After a long climb, he reached the houses. They were small with no windows. The houses were covered with a brown, muddy plaster. It was thick and untidy.

‘The man who put on that plaster,’ Nunez thought, ‘must be blind.’

He kept on walking; and soon, he saw some woman and children.

At last, he felt safe.

Adaptation of H.G. Wells’s classic short story: The Country of the Blind (Ch2)

After some time, the world forgot about the people in the valley.

But the valley people did not worry. Life there was easy: the valley had no dangerous insects or dangerous animals. Instead, it was full of useful plants, clean water, and gentle llamas.

The valley people also did not worry much about becoming blind. It happened slowly. At first, the old people lost their eyesight; then the not so old. Soon, every newborn child was born blind. And when sight finally died out, the valley people lived on. They did not need their eyes to make a fire, to cook, or to move around. The valley was their home, and they knew every part of it. Generation after generation lived without the use of their eyes. They forgot many things but learned many others. Decades passed. The valley people were happy. Then a stranger came to the valley – a man from the outside world, a mountaineer.

His arrival changed everything.

New adaptation: H. G. Wells’s classic short story The Country of the Blind (Ch1)

Three hundred miles from Chimborazo and one hundred miles from the snow of Cotopaxi – deep in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains – there is a green valley. Most men do not know about it – it is a mystery. But the valley has a name, and its name is The Country of the Blind. Many years ago, the valley was open and many people went there: the sad, the hungry, and the poor. They went there because they wanted to escape difficult lives in their own countries. So they climbed over the steep slopes and icy glaciers of the Andes and settled in that beautiful place. Then, years later, an earthquake caused a landslide. Mud and rocks came down the side of a mountain and cut off the path to The Country of The Blind forever.

But one man knew about The Country of the Blind because he lived there. When the landslide happened, he was on one side and his family and The Country of the Blind was on the other. After the mud and rocks tumbled down and blocked the path, he never saw his family or the valley again.

He had a story and told everyone. And everyone who heard his tale never forgot it.

The valley, he said, had everything: sweet water, green grass and a warm climate. It had healthy brown soil and trees with fruit; rivers fed the valley from the glacier and helped grow the crops. People and their animals prospered. But one thing happened to mar their happiness. A strange disease hit them – an illness no one understood or could explain.

All the children in the valley were born blind…

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You can find the original story here.