National Geographic : 1968 Aug
a rumbling explosion in the middle of his field.* Soon the farmer owned a volcano in stead of a farm. Within six days the cone measured 525 feet in height. The earth con tinued to disgorge lava, eventually burying two villages and nine square miles of fields (pages 172-3). Paricutin, Mexico's most publi cized volcano, was born. Today the peak is said by scientists to be dormant, but Mexicans in the region are not so sure. "I have counted more than 60 live fumaroles inside the crater," a guide told us. "Paricutin is not asleep; it is only waiting." Like the ash from Paricutin's eruption, we 180 drifted east toward Mexico City, stopping briefly in the lakeside village of Patzcuaro. Watching Lucy shop for fresh supplies in the open-air market (page 174), I reflected once again on the social significance of marketing. It is never a question of whether the seller will come down from his first price; he will. The buyer's status depends on the wit and humor with which he brings this about. Once, in the Patzcuaro market, I carelessly agreed to the announced price. The vendor, thunder struck, refused to sell. Finally, in desperation, he did my haggling for me and presented me with what he considered a fair bargain. *See "Paricutin, the Cornfield That Grew a Volcano," by James A. Green, GEOGRAPHIC, February, 1944.