National Geographic : 1955 Jan
fudge. He always scrapes the pan when I make it." So my wife made Manuel a box of fudge and wrapped it up in Christmas paper and ribbon. On top of the box she glued a small figure of Santa Claus, one of several she had salvaged from a Christmas party in Boston the previous year and had brought to Peru, thinking to give them to the Indian children. On Christmas morning Manuel was speech less with delight, an unusual state for him. "And this little figure, who is he?" How to explain Santa Claus in a region where Christmas is not a major celebration? "This," I said, "is San Nicolas. He is a saint, you know," I added unnecessarily. "San Nicolas!" breathed Manuel, and, clutching the box of fudge, raced home to show it to his parents. We had forgotten the incident when, months later, I happened to go into Manuel's room -which was also the storeroom-to get some thing or other. There was Santa Claus! Nailed to the wall was a little shrine com posed of two whisky cartons, a cigar box, and an olive tin. Inside, carrying a miniature fir tree over one shoulder, Santa Claus re posed in isolated splendor. On either side burned a stub of candle, and before the little figure stood an aspirin bottle holding wild flowers. For Manuel this had been his real Christ mas present. Harvard Museum Wanted a Llama Our chief form of diversion, other than the almost endless succession of collecting trips and picnics to archeological sites, was entertaining visitors. Friends in Lima and Arequipa had standing instructions to send any and all interesting travelers to us. In this way we met Sandy, one of the most memorable on several counts. Colin C. Sanborn is a zoologist from the Chicago Natural History Museum. On the one hand he was our salvation, and on the other he almost ruined our reputation among the In dians of the village. Shortly before Sandy arrived, we had re ceived a letter from a friend at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, asking us please to send him a llama skin and skeleton for the museum's collections. The big diffi culty was not finding, but buying, a llama in the heart of llama territory. The Aymaras are very fond of their llamas. They lavish great attention on them, hanging ornamental yarn tassels from their ears and little bells on the fur of their chests, and painting their shaggy coats with orange and yellow ocher. For the Aymaras the llama is a most useful animal, a source of meat and wool as well as a beast of burden (page 144).* "That is a splendid llama," I would say * See "Camels of the Clouds," by W. H. Hodge, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1946.