The old dinner horn has blown for the last time, I think. The rubber bulb which gave it voice has cracked with age.
This was a horn built to a heroic mold, the sort of horn that in an earlier day would have vanquished scores of dragons with the blast of its breath alone. It came from Calcutta, India, the gift of Alice's brother who had spent several years there working for the Ford Foundation.
In Calcutta it had graced a taxi, and no doubt done daily battle for years with the wicked dragon Holdfast, the patron deity of traffic snarls. Its shape or signature, appropriately enough, was serpentine, a sign of the tangles it should untangle. Beyond the dull black rather pear-shaped rubber bulb where dwelt the winds that gave it voice, it was brass, dulled with the years, dented and scratched, and looked old. But old is a slippery term.
Some people I know look as though they were born old - 'born on a bar stool' as the phrase has it - and never learned anything worth knowing.
Words & Images
We moved to our farm in Sussex, New Brunswick from Toronto in 1977, only moving away in 2014.