MAVIS BECKLES: Sea egg ban want dropping
YES, I REALLY THINK it is time dat duh lift this sea egg ban.
I think it is now a waste of time trying tuh stop people from diving fuh sea eggs – in season, out o’ season, dry season and rainy season – because the people who does dive for dem gine be diving for dem all the time, regardless o’ if duh got a ban or a sash tuh keep dem from gine in dah water tuh get dem precious sea eggs.
I look in the papers last week and see dat two brothers get fined fuh diving sea eggs; dem ain’t the first nor duh ain’t gine be the last tuh do it. Ya see, some people gine get caught and another set gine get away wid it ’cause the police ain’t gine be there all the time tuh see nor apprehend dem.
If duh doan want people tuh dive fuh the sea eggs, they should hire some people tuh be sea egg guards. Post dem pon the beaches or in the areas where they know dat people does do this sorta thing.
The police cahn be always scouting around looking fuh these kind o’ people; dem got a whole lot more important things tuh do instead o’ running ’bout the beaches trying tuh run down the people who out there looking tuh make a dollar.
Now listen tuh me, doan get me wrong. I ain’t saying dat ya should break the law but cud’dear man, this sea egg ban thing has been going on fuh a lot o’ years now and I think it is about time dat the authorities let up and leh the people who love sea eggs and who ain’t taste it fuh years get the opportunity tuh eat li’l bit before duh dead . . . Duh cahn even smell it far less taste it; duh could only hear ’bout it; dah ain’t right.
I gine tell you something now: I believe dat some o’ dem same people who does be playing dem jumping up and hollering out ’bout people picking the sea eggs out o’ season or at all, does be eating duh guts full o’ dem all the time. Look, one thing I know ’bout Bajans, is dat duh like tuh brag and I hear wid my own ears, a woman saying dat she always got sea eggs. She say she ain’t know wha’ all o’ the lot o’ hal-la-ba-loo is about. She tell me dat she could even give me some.
No! No! I tell she, I ain’t want none, soul! I doan want tuh be eating dem and by the time duh between my teet, the police come and down hands in me.
Apart from dat. I doan really like sea eggs; I would do dem up real nice the way my mother used tuh do dem fuh my father but I really doan like the taste too much, so it doan bother me. What bothers me is the things sitting there in the water all the time, tempting people year after year and all dat they could do is watch the things and cahn touch dem. That is bare foolishness – serious temptation.
Look, you see me? Left up tuh me, I would leh the people dive fuh the sea eggs as duh say, in and out o’ the so-called sea egg season; and, honey, when the sea eggs gone, duh gone – duh could only remember the taste.
I remember growing up, we used tuh spend actually every day of the summer vacation at the beach; and you would see the boys go and dive up some sea eggs by the rocks, then they would sit down ’pon the sand and pick out the meat from each shell and eat it just so.
I could remember the women coming around wid these big baskets ’pon duh heads, hollering fuh, “Sea eggs! Sea eggs!” And people would go out and buy these big able sea eggs wid a grape leaf shaped like a cone ’pon top of it.
I could remember how when my mother take off the grape leaf, the leaf used tuh be full o’ the stuff. Now if you ask a young person if they know what a sea egg look or taste like, they would tell you no because the older people who know ’bout dem cahn get dem or duh dead. It is a shame.
Ya cahn keep arresting people fuh picking sea eggs: duh right there and it in duh bones. Look, if it ain’t dem diving dem up, it gine be somebody else; and it gine go on so from year tuh year. So, leh the people dive and eat the flipping sea eggs, and when duh gone . . . hello, duh gone!
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.