A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
by Gabriel García Márquez
The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Timeline and Summary
- The Very Old Man crash-lands into Elisenda and Pelayo's patio during a rainstorm.
- He's locked into the chicken coop while they decide what to do with him.
- Eventually, he becomes the town's main event, and people come from miles around to see him.
- The priest tests the old man to see if he's an angel, but the old man just answers him in a language no one understands. Angel fail, obviously.
- The old man ignores the people who come to see him, but that doesn't stop the crowds from gathering.
- He's very unhappy in the chicken coop, and the onlookers practically torture him, trying to get him to eat mothballs, plucking his feathers, and throwing stones at him.
- Even the chickens peck him.
- One day the old man seems to be dead, so someone decides to stick him with a hot branding iron. He wakes up in a panic, hollers in his own language, and kicks up a lot of dust with his wings. This earns the respect and fear of the crowd.
- Once the people get tired of looking at him, the old man is basically left to himself in the chicken coop.
- He makes friends with Elisenda and Pelayo's son, in a sort of master-pet relationship.
- When the old man's chicken coop collapses, he starts dragging himself all around the house in a seriously annoying way.
- He starts to lose his vision and feathers, and Pelayo oh-so-kindly decides to let him sleep in the shed.
- The old man has a fever and starts raging in Norwegian—maybe, but he survives.
- He even gets better, and starts to secretly grow back his feathers and sing sailor songs.
- Finally, one morning the angel takes a few test runs, then flies away out over the sea.