They come in many shades and tones. From the quasi cop-car nee-naws, the wolf and bird whistlers, the bronchial donkeys, to the anti-musical alarms. All, if amplified and applied at the correct moment can send a sonic shockwave right through my head, in one ear and out the other. Cerebral cleansing. Sole fatiguing. I collect these phonic incursions as examples of individuality, and was delighted when I encountered a new specimen. A bleating sheep. In the US, I had collected one specimen: a mooing cow horn, so assumed this to be a local speciality or at least a China import. The next colectivo to pass had a two-tone baa-baaing echo. It made for a pleasant diversion, a change from the wearisome normal. It was with the passing of the third minibus that I started to question my assumptions as the bleat seemed to come from on high and not from out of the vehicle’s bonnet. The fourth pass and an enlightenment. Four hobbled ewes double-doppler from the roof rack of the next passing, honking transport. Then a tuk-tuk overtakes; it too observes convention, it too beeps and in the back are another seven sheep captivated by a cargo net. It’s Sunday, it’s market day. Horn-haltered cows are being led down the main street, through the middle of the town. A solitary indignant goat peppers the road; it’s splayed across the knees of a moto driver. A wizened Indigena, her face of weather-cured leather, is led along by a pair of llamas, she, shambling, bent double under a rough hewn shawl, the brace, camelid superior and keel marked with ear feathers of vibrant wool.
How I wish that we'd packed our Canadian 'bear horn', an air pumped yatchsman's fog horn. An instrument with attitude and decibels, an instrument of revenge. Only the locals wouldn't notice, so impervious are they to extraneous and superfluous noise. Bleating ewes and oh….. those bleep…bleep…bleeping horns.