THE LOWDOWN: Signs and wonders
Back then, there were no tea bags. You put in a spoonful of tea leaves for each cup and one for the pot. Afterwards, you read the tea leaves left in your cup. Tassology or tasseography is tea leaf reading. Mummy was big on that. She could predict elections, pregnancy, disaster, whatever.
Mankind has depended on signs and wonders from way back when. And we still do. Like if you touch the wife cautiously after lights out and she hisses: “What’s your problem?”, that’s a sure sign you’re not going to get lucky.
Recently we found a nest of nine yard-fowl eggs of uncertain vintage. This meant they had to be checked individually. Meanwhile, an irreverent daughter drew hilarious pictures on each with names: Owen, Mia, Sinckler, Suckoo, Freundel, Payne, Sealy, Jones and Estwick.
Since this was randomly done, it now had serious implications as a sign and wonder. Results: on breaking, all were “good” except Sinckler and Owen. On the other hand, Sinckler and Owen were on the way to hatching so they really weren’t “bad”.
I need help interpreting that. And also with this white duck. Ms Duck appeared about a week ago and now stays a few feet away, just watching me. Even late at night. I’ve since learnt our local Muscovy ducks aren’t really ducks. They don’t quack, they eat grass and they perch at night. No true duck does that.
My first suspicion was that it was Veoma. We all know of the bakery owner who turned into a cat to watch his workers at night. Until someone broke his paw and he came to work next day with his hand in a cast. I think in Grenada a fellow turned himself into a salmon tot or sardine pan and got some serious kicks from yutes walking home from the movies.
It strikes me Veoma would go duck to get a story. She goes places in her column Rickey or I never dared. She once talked out on a lady and gent who passed a little air in public. And a few weeks ago she described her neighbour’s “2 x 4 whacker”.
Obviously we farmers go to the bathroom wherever, whenever, in the field. But now, with that duck watching, that’s a no-no. I fear it might have a cell phone camera under its wing.
My plan is to get a mate for it. If Veoma starts gushing “Oohs!”and “Ahhhs!” all over her columns, we may be on to something. Meanwhile if anyone knows what a white duck portends, let me know. Sad to say, Bill Grace who played mandolin with Guataka before me passed away recently. Maybe it’s my turn.
We shall see. Meanwhile, we needs must educate a Jamaican homophil. Gordon Robinson, writing in the Jamaica Gleaner on Buggery, Bigotry and Buffoonery, seeks to shoot down the argument that zoophiliacs, or those who have relationships with animals, should have equal rights because, after all, it is just another type of sexual orientation.
Not so, says Gordon. “Anything done between consenting adults in the name of love is between them and their God and none of the State’s business. It’s all about consent. So, the reason why the State justifiably steps in when a man is caught raping a donkey is because the poor donkey can’t consent . . . .”
Sorry, Gords, but you’re dead wrong. In the first place, “consent” is much too strong a word. Older married men will tell you “reluctant acquiescence” is about as good as it gets.
Secondly, I’ve spent a lifetime studying when animals want to mate. The signs are far more definite than in any relationship between humans.
And the female donkey was my specialty. This came about by accident. I kept donkeys as a boy. An old pastor, Brother Gamble, used to bring his female to my Spark Plug. And, though I was only nine or ten, he trusted my expertise. “Look at her purse!” he would urge.
There’s more. On being approached, the female donkey sticks off her tail and “chaws”. She parts her back legs and “quaps”. The signs of consent or otherwise are unmistakable.
I don’t condone sex with animals. But I can’t sit idly by and watch them labelled as “dumb”. Come again, Mr Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know.
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.