Point of view: Willing to be taken

Traveling in the Peruvian Andes, I came across numerous groups of extremely cute children decked head to toe in traditional outfits and often holding small animals. Their clothing - eclectic combinations of garments that I suspect were not meant to be worn at the same time (or even in the same season) - was matched by a Noah's Ark-like entourage of animals ranging from baby llamas to pet parrots and everything in between. My personal favorite: a stuffed Pokémon figure. Even though I was onto their postmodern tableau vivant business, their wide smiles and glittering eyes invited me to snap a picture.

Once I'd committed to taking a photograph, they'd gather with the choreographed precision of the Bolshoi. It took 1/125th of a second for the camera shutter to do its thing and 1/126th of a second for the children's hands to be thrust forward, gesturing for money. At that point their faces projected all the charm of a creditor whose bill is long overdue. After a few days I knew the routine, but still I kept a pocketful of coins handy for such occasions. Theirs was a powerful lure. I could not refuse it.

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