Ferdinand was a bull growing up in the spanish countryside, like many others. There was, however, one major difference: when the other bulls fought and ran with eachother, Ferdinand refused to do so. He prefers to sit in the shade of a cork tree and smell flowers. His mother tries to persuade him into running and fighting, but to no avail.
When Ferdinand grows up, he becomes the biggest, strongest bull - but still a sweet pacifist one. When a selection committee comes to pick bulls for fights, Ferdinand just happens to sit on a bumblebee, causing him to be all wild and menacing. Therefore, he is selected for a big bullfight in Madrid.
He finds himself in a big arena, with a vast crowd. When the matador arrives in the arena, he does the same as ever: he refuses to fight.
'The Story of Ferdinand' is a children's book written by the American author Munro Leaf. Soon after its initial release (around the time of the spanish civil war), the book became some sort of political propaganda: it was targeted by Franco's supporters, and lateron it was banned in many countries and opressed by right wing parties (as being a pacifist manifesto). On the other hand (probably as a direct result), the book was promoted by many left-wing groups. It was, for instance, one of the few non-communist books that were actively promoted in the Sowiet-Union. This being said, it is of course a great way to describe violence and agression, and productive ways to refuse to participate