Caught between "fortunes and adversities," Lázaro evolves from his initial ingenuity to developing an instinct for survival. He is made aware of the real world when gored by a stone bull, a fib the blind man uses to pull the blinders off his simplicity. He then rivals him in cunning throughout different famous, well-known episodes, such as the grapes or the jug of wine, until he gets him gored by the stone with another fib, leading the cruel blind man to injure himself against a pillar.
In his flight toward nowhere, Lázaro meets his companion in hardship, a mouse on the run from the Kingdom's Town Crier-Pest Controller, who, by extension, is also after pilferers like Lázaro.
He then serves a tight-fisted clergyman from Maqueda who starves him to death. He skims off everything he can from a coffer stuffed with food, sealed with a large padlock. Lázaro's mouse-friend, suffering from famine much like him, will be a huge help in raiding the coffer.