Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Weekend In The Country

Published:Sunday | April 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMElpedio Robinson

Errol grew up with his grandparents in a rural rustic community, Warsop, Trelawny. As a little boy, weekends were glorious days. After sweeping the yard, feeding the fowls and fetching water for the day, he was on his own!

'Brucie, Ever, unu ready!' He shouted to his friends. 'Yes, we a com.' They shouted back. Presently, they headed out for the bush. First, they gathered firewood to be taken back home. Then they took a trek in the mango walk to look at their calabashes, to see if they had caught any birds, then they had their fill of mangoes. Drunk from mango juice, they were induced to play pranks on their one another.

'Ever, Ever, Ehh look like me catch a bird,' Errol shouted gleefully while imitating the peck of a bird on the blind spot of the calabash. Ever rushed over trembling with anticipation. 'Yu, yu ... serious?' He stuttered excitedly. 'Yea man!' 'Quick! When mi lif up de calabash, grab him fast; nu mek him get way enu,' Errol instructed. Ever crouched like a tiger, ready to pounce the moment Errol lifted the calabash. 'NOW!!!' Ever grabbed as fast as lightning. Then sprang up just as quickly, flashing his hands in disgust and cursing, 'Errol, mi gwine kill yu, yu wait an see!' Brucie and Errol almost got asphyxiated from laughter; it was not a bird Ever had caught but a fresh load of cow dung.

After Brucie and Errol had recovered from their laughter and Ever had cooled down but still promising to get back at Errol, they headed for the river. As they approached the river, they heard voices so they continued cautiously. Look deh! Box cup, look deh! Ever whispered vehemently and jumping up an down with his hand between his legs. 'Wow ... jees!' Errol now sees the objects of Ever's excitement. 'No mek dem se we,' Errol shouted excitedly with a whisper. Three girls were bathing in the river ... stark naked. This was the boys' first 'blue movie' episode. The boys were transfixed with oohs, aahs, jees, luk, luk escaping their gaping mouths unconsciously.

They were so enthralled, so engrossed ...'gosh, mi can believe dis ... de gal dem luk ... Just then they heard, 'What unu looking at?! They all sprang around with their hands clutching their chests in fright. 'Ma..Ma..Mass, Joe!' They all shouted stuttering. 'Mi say, whe unu a look pan?!' He demanded. No ... no ... noting sa. Suddenly a loud scream pierced the air, the girls had discovered that they were not alone. 'So a dem unu did a luk pan ... eeeh?! Ansa mi!' Mass Joe demanded again. 'Unu likkle scoundrels unu, wait till unu muma and pupa hear bout dis', he threatened solemnly and walked hastily away.

Their journey back home was the longest it had ever been, and as for the bundles of firewood, they were the heaviest they had ever carried. Worrying anticipation of a good 'aussing' made their feet feel like lead and the wood feel like they were carrying the entire tree. For most of the journey, they were silent. All they could think about was, 'wha we a go tell mama seh?' Suddenly, Brucie shouted, 'wait!' 'Errol and Ever shot back, fe wha?' 'Mek we spit pan three stones an' throw dem behind us, me hear sey it wi prevent us from getting beating', Brucie offerred.

At this point, they were willing to try anything so they hurriedly dropped their bundles of wood and began looking stones. As they found the stones and began their rituals to save their behinds, Brucie reminded them sagaciously, 'mek sure unnu no luk behind unnu when unnu throw de stone, adda wise ehh naw go work.' They all religiously obeyed. Rituals out of the way, their loads were a bit lighter and their steps a bit surer.

When they reached home, the faces of their mothers and the straps in their hands painted an unforgiving picture of a good backsiding, and bwoy, did they get it. 'Bout yu a luk pan naked oman' Errol's mother hissed as she administered the final blow. However, no amount of beating could erase from their young minds the glorious spectacle they had earlier beheld at the river.