Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"It was on burro-back that the missionaries explored the whole of the Baja peninsula centuries ago, and there is probably no other aid to locomotion which is so completely independent of any base of supplies. Burros require no gasoline and no spare tires. Far better than a horse or even a mule, they can live off the country and very unappetizing country at that. Besides, no one needs to learn how to ride them. The most sedentary can just climb on and be ready to go. To be sure, it is not a very dashing form of locomotion. No honorifics like 'cavalier' and 'chivalrous' (both of which mean 'horsey') were ever based upon admiration for those who employed it. As a status symbol, the burro ranks well below the jalopy. But as the Ford advertisements used to say in the days of the Model T and before autos became primarily status symbols rather than conveyances, 'It takes you there and it brings you back.'"

--Joseph Wood Krutch, The Forgotten Peninsula


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