Donovan Whyte, Contributor
Milton Russell awoke with a feeling of excitement that Monday morning. It was now 50 minutes later than he would usually awake.
He jumped out of his sleep as one of his milking cows mooed loudly, several feet from his bedroom window.
He had been dreaming that he and his wife, Elizabeth, affectionately called Miss Riza, were in their kitchenette counting heaps of money to take to the bank. In the dream, he thought, "Finally, this year our effort was not in vain."
He excitedly jumped out of bed, quickly looking at the small clock on the dresser. It was five minutes to five.
"I will have to hurry to get the cows milked, for the milk to be ready for sale this morning."
Hurriedly, he went to the bathroom and took down his farmwork clothes and got dressed. His wife was left in the bed still sleeping and snoring soundly.
The workers were milling about in the farmyard.
"I wonder what happen to Mass Milton this morning?" one tall, burly red-skinned male farm worker said.
"Yes, I hope is not anything wrong with either him or his wife," a short, muscular dark-complexioned man named Bruce said.
As he had finished speaking, a short, 5' 1", slightly built, dark-complexioned Milton Russell emerged from the back door of the kitchen.
On reaching the men, Milton and his workmen quickly got to work, milking the cows, and were finished just before milk customers began calling at the farm yard gate. Tall, sturdy Elizabeth went quickly to meet them.
It was a very sunny Monday morning in July, 1983. The hot summer sun shone brightly on the hardworking men as they started weeding through cultivations.
Milton Russell was unusually quiet that morning. He was usually a talkative man. He was deep in thought about the dream he had earlier, wishing with all his heart that his dream would materialise.
Meanwhile, Miss Riza was busy selling milk. As she animatedly spoke to customers concerning the rally at church, the previous Sunday.
Once again, the work day came to an end. He walked slowly home, which was 400 metres away. He thought of what he could do to prevent the further loss of livestock to thieves.
The previous Friday morning, they had discovered eight of the bull and goat carcasses under a cotton tree. One of the bulls was Milton's prize red poll bull. He was planning to sell him soon.
Milton and the other farm workers were just in time to see the culprits retreating from the crime scene.
This year, there was not much rain. Despite their strenuous efforts, he had lost heavily. The scorching sun had caused huge losses on the melon, tomato, pumpkin and callaloo fields.
"How will we pay the workers and pay our bills?" Milton asked himself.
The following year, 1984, he could again go to the bank. The profit was not large, but he had learned to be thankful nonetheless.
Fortunately, Milton and his wife Elizabeth were good savers. They had savings competitions at their credit unions for four years during a 12-year period. Some years, they had lost heavily to drought, crop and livestock thieves.
Notwithstanding, their savings had grown immensely, over a 16-year period. They had saved, borrowed and repaid. His farm would expand in livestock and cultivation.
Miss Riza sold cooked meals from farm produce such as corn, yam, sweet potato, tomato and other vegetables.
Often, the rigours of farm losses due to adverse weather conditions and mankind take a toll, but that year, 1999, they began reaping great success.
At the ages of 90 and 91 Milton and Elizabeth had amassed millions. Never say never, he thought, as his mother had taught him. Their main disappointment was that they were childless. His wife had four miscarriages.
Suddenly, Milton remembered that 16 years ago, he had a dream. He dreamt that he had a dream. He dreamt that he and his wife were counting bags of money.