Biscay – Oxcarts (1906)

Source: Legends and popular tales of the Basque people (T. Fisher Unwin: London, 1887)
Edgar Thomas Ainger Wigram (1864-1935)
The Oxcart, page 15

“Meanwhile we pursued our career to an intermittent orchestral accompaniment— a tune in two keys, like M‘Alpin’s drone and small pipes, but far more powerful and piercing than the most brazen-lunged piper could blow. Occasionally we met the musician. He is only an ordinary ox-cart -a pair of wheels, a pole, and a plunk or two, actuated by a pair of sleepy kine. (…) For the amount of lamentation that can be extracted from one dry axle is a thing that is scarcely credible even when it is heard. The natives encourage it. They have one theory that it pleases the oxen, and another (far more probable) that it scares the Fiend. But at any rate it has no apparent effect upon the Spanish teamster, who lounges along in front waving his goad like a drum major’s baton; or sleeps -yes, sleeps- on the summit of his yelling load. Verily the man who first invented sleep must have been a waggoner!”

Author: Edgar Thomas Ainger Wigram (1864-1935)
Date: 04/06/1906