Friday, July 4, 2008
In the ancient Disney movie featuring kidnapped Dalmation puppies, a communication network of dogs is used to locate and send help to save the pups. The barking dogs from neighborhood to countryside effectively communicated the needed information. That was great fiction and a sweet thought that all that doggie racket we are often subjected to has "human" meaning.
Where I grew up, we had one neighborhood dog that constantly barked. I sometimes avoided walking by his yard to keep from getting him worked up. It was tough to avoid him, though, as his owners were among our best family of friends. Two of the three kids in the family were much older than I, but were at times, the big sisters that I never had. In fact, Maggie is probably the person most responsible for me becoming a teacher. Her younger sister, Betty, did become a teacher and I had the privilege of calling her a colleague and friend as we both taught in our hometown school district.
A barking dog may be trying to attract attention, give a warning to anyone entering its perceived territory, or sound an alarm. We get it. We respond or we don't. We may even get fido to perform a barking trick for our friends. Nevertheless, if out of control, barking dogs are a pain in the keester.
There are very few barking dogs in our neighborhood. Yes, Dr. Jesus does on occasion board dogs and we infrequently hear them. Those 15 - 20 foot walls around most properties here help to isolate everyone's household noises. What we do hear, especially as I lounge in the mirador on the roof, are roosters. We have one living in the horse corral and Hinojosa Family compound across the street. No one lives there, except a horse or two, a few chickens, and that noisey cock The Compound doesn't have a house on site but often hosts family gatherings, especially on Sunday afternoons.
One afternoon, as I lay comfortable on my chaisse, I listened just a little more intently to the crowing of the Hinojosa rooster. After some time, I began to hear more roosters closeby and in distant neighborhoods. It seems so silly that the chanticleers would spend their days hollering that "This is my territory. Nothing to see here. Move along." But, sure enough the roosters seem intent on answering each others' call, as well.
So, as I enjoy a cool breeze on a sunny day, daydream, and nap on the roof... the sounds from the village of Ajijic waft by. The bottles gas truck shouts "Zeeeeee ta Gaaaaaaaassss". The bakery truck plays an annoying tune. The bottled water guy cries, "Aaaaa guaaa". The fruit and vegetable vendor uses his speaker system to tell us about the price of a kilo of lemons or oranges. The junk man chimes in and offers to buy our used wash machines, glass bottles, and other stuff. And, on occasion, a truck's megaphone announces local news and advertises the next big event to be held in the nearby bullring.
And, the cocks crow.