By Marissa Armoogam. As the rain beat down heavily upon the rusted galvanised sheets of the old wooden house, Anita peered through the hazy glass window pane which hung loosely from the rotted wood frames. The wind was blowing angrily down on the cane fields behind her house and the stalks of cane seemed to dance at times and at other times bow in respect each time the lightning flashed across the country sky.
Inside the little wooden house her mother scurried to place old iron pots and empty pigtail buckets to catch the naughty rain that had sneaked in through the fold of the galvanised sheets. Her little brother Randy was curled up in the corner of the bed fast asleep snuggled amongst blankets made from empty flour bags that her mother had sewn together.
Anita was a small frail girl, aged six. Her hair was thin and fell carelessly around her pale face. Her clothes, though not new was clean, her mother always made sure the children were clean. As she looked out into the fields her mind wandered far beyond that place. Her family, her village, the cows that grazed near her house was all she knew.
Sometimes in the far off distance beyond the field she would see a thread of grey smoke which moved quickly across the horizon until it faded away. Once she asked her mother where the smoke came from, with a peculiar look her mother stopped scrubbing the wooden floor and looked up at her daughter’s inquisitive face, she thought for a minute and then answered ever so softly, “Them is the trucks that going by the factory, that is where yuh father used to work long time.” Then they looked at each other both wondering what the other was thinking and her mother went back to scrubbing the floors.
Anita had never seen a truck before, not even a car and her mind designed pictures of what this marvellous contraption that could make smoke and run faster than her looked like.
Suddenly, the rain stopped as abruptly as it had started. Without asking her mother she pushed open the wooden door and ran out the house into the yard like a freed animal. She loved this time, the atmosphere was calm and quiet, everywhere was wet and seemed clean and fresh as if it was just washed, the smell of the wet grass enticed her, this was the only time she understood why the cows ate it.
This was her time, the only time her little unadventurous existence – Anita’s paradise
She ran through the wet grass barefoot, she jumped into the holes in the dirt road now made into numerous pools of muddy water and she giggled as the mud squished in between her tiny toes. This was her time, the only time her little unadventurous existence became full of life.
In the distance a calf cried for his mother after he had wandered off into the nearby cane fields during the rains. The air became filled with what seemed like tiny cane ash but upon closer investigation she realised it was swarms of rain flies. Frogs came jumping and croaking loudly as they reached for the flies.
Further down the road she saw the outline of someone coming up the old road, cautiously she ran behind an old tractor wheel and stooped down to peep at the approaching stranger. As the image became clearer she realised it was her father coming back from the garden. He had gone to harvest tomatoes and peppers to sell the next day at the market.
She jumped out from behind the tyre and ran happily to greet him. She lovingly jumped into his hands and hugged his dirty face. They both walked up the road together towards their small wooden paradise. This was her life and she loved all of it.
December 2014 – Issue 13 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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