Platero (plah-TEH-roh), a donkey, whose name roughly means “silver one” in recognition of his color. He is a synthesis of many such donkeys that the author knew. He has many functions in the prose poems, the most basic of which are companion, confidant, and perfect listener. He is presented as a child, an adult, and an animal. The author frequently shares Platero with the children who appear in the poems. At times, Platero is a mere donkey helping another donkey extract a cart that is stuck in the mud; at other times, he is one of the children, kicking up his heels and running around; and at others, he is a gift or toy that the author shares with children.
Darbón (dahr-BOHN), Platero’s veterinarian. Descriptions of Darbón are excellent examples of literary caricature. His aged and toothless face becomes the substance of Darbón’s appearance.
Don José, (hoh-SEH) the Priest, one of the many examples of hypocrites whom the author chastises. A man of the cloth and humble priest in church, at home Don José curses and throws stones at the children and at the poor and hungry people who try to take fruit from his orchard.
Frasco Vélez (FRAHS-koh VEH-lehs), the mayor of the town, a hypocrite like Don José. He uses...
(The entire section is 619 words.)