A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Whistle Code
Images © Copyright ~ John And Margaret
by John Yeo
Pinto was a farmer, he grew fruit and vegetables in a fertile valley on the island of Vesta. Hidden among a group of larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, not many visitors arrived to break the monotony of the hard, day-to-day fight for survival. Steep rocky mountains engulfed the island, sheltering fertile valleys, where a hardy people who had lived and survived on the rocky, isolated, island, for centuries, scraped a living by exporting their produce to the mainland.
Communication between neighbouring valleys was almost impossible before the dawn of the electronic age; to drive on the steep, rough and ready roads, from one valley to another could take a whole day.
A whistling language developed over the years, from one valley to another, sharp, long and short, drawn-out whistles, would warn the people of danger or impending changes in the erratic winter weather conditions.
The council of the island decreed that all the island’s children must be taught to communicate by whistling to keep this valuable ancient form of communication going.
Pinto’s eldest son Paulo, resented this but reluctantly did as he was told and absorbed the skills.
Mr. Zen, the whistling schoolteacher would drum the calls of alarm into the children….
“Two long whistles and one short for an urgent request for help. One continuous long drawn out whistle for a helicopter rescue. Three short sharp whistles for a threatening stranger.”
One memorable day, Paulo was working hard in the rock-strewn fields, when he vaguely heard an unusual whistle message from the neighbouring valley. It took a while for the realization that someone was in trouble to sink in, and he was quickly on the radio to the authorities who dispatched two helicopters immediately.
“It looks like someone is lying prone at the bottom of that ravine there!” shouted the pilot to the two paramedics. “The police helicopter is landing on a flat space a mile away, leaving that flat area clear for us!” The helicopter landed to find a young girl in a state of shock, frantically whistling the well-taught distress call.
“Don’t move, just tell us what happened?” enquired one of the medics.
“I came here with my boyfriend, but he tried to rape me: When I resisted he pushed me off the rock above and I landed here. My leg hurts, and I think I have twisted my neck.” the distraught young girl blurted out.
“Lie still now, the police will catch up with him. I will have to take you to the hospital on the mainland, we will just lift you gently on to the stretcher and we will be off.”
The police were informed of the situation by radio, and the other helicopter arrested a suspect, who was later charged with assault.
Paulo was soon commended for his swift response to the distress whistle.
He related the whole thing to Pinto, his Dad, and they both agreed that the whistle code was a very valuable language to pass on, and keep alive.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved