Save bun for Easter
Let me make it clear at the start that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, making light of the travesty that happened in Mavis Bank and Flamstead. I recognise and feel for those who lost possessions and livelihood in the fire. It's the kind of devastation I can't even imagine how you recover from, and my prayers go out to those who are now trying to pick up the pieces.
The origins of the fire, though, let's talk about that. The weather girl in me assumed that it was as a result of natural, spontaneous combustion. It was hellishly hot and breezy that infamous day - perfect conditions for a forest fire that starts and spreads. But some residents put forward a different story about how the fire ignited: one that has nothing to do with Mother Nature and everything to do with a mother's nature.
Some of the residents in Mavis Bank are convinced that the fire that has cost the community $400 million, 100 pigs and nearly 500 acres of coffee and countless houses was the inadvertent consequence of 'bun'.
According to them, a neighbour, having discovered that her husband was being unfaithful, decided she was going to "bun the crosses" out of their matrimonial mattress. She proceeded to set the foul, adultery-aiding mattress ablaze, and sailed it down the hillside. And in its wake, it left a fiery trail of damage and destruction.
This is the stuff Lifetime movies are made of. You know when you watch cartoons, and Tom has what he thinks is a brilliant plan that will surely annihilate Jerry. And it always backfires. This is that kind of plot. It is a heck of a series of events; that one mattress nearly flat-burnt down two communities.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNT
Let's assume the story as told by these residents is true. From the inferno, there are a few lessons to be learnt.
1) Bun is hot (literally and figuratively).
Fire aside, it takes a deep-seated level of hurt for a woman to destroy her possessions. Nobody willy-nilly sets fire to anything they own, and to burn up the bed you share with the man you love. That's the action of a hurt woman.
We talk a lot about infidelity ruining families, but this takes it to another level. Some were upset with the woman who set the mattress ablaze, but there were others who placed blame not on her, but on the allegedly adulterous man. In their eyes, had he not cheated, she wouldn't have cause to light the mattress.
2) There are some superstitious people around.
Don't rule out the possibility that Miss Lady was of the belief that the ritual of burning the mattress was a critical step in saving her relationship. I've heard sensible people recite stranger things. Buy this oil and rub up with it. Cook him stew peas. Wear red clothes for a week. Wear red panties for a week. It's just crazy the lengths that some will go to in order to give cosmic assistance to their cause.
3) People are not afraid to talk.
True or not, there were those who were willing to go on camera and recount this story. They were willing to share their version of what had happened in this woman's house and the events that led to the fire's origin, as they believed them to be.
If only this kind of spirit would prevail in matters surrounding our children. Talk up! About what you know and also about what you think you know. When children are being ill-treated and are up to mischief that could result in life-altering repercussions, talk up! For the safety of our little ones, communities need informers.
4) Be slow to act.
Most of all, we learnt that what's done cannot be undone. Whether or not the tale is true, what remains is that there are two communities whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed. If this happened as a result of a mattress lit in anger, a glass of water and deep contemplation could have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache.
Perhaps we will never know the true origins of the fire. But if things are as some of the community members say, I suggest we save the bun for Easter. Way too many people get hurt otherwise.