MAVIS BECKLES: Tiefing frustrating the farmers
WELL, FINALLY after years and years of crying out and begging fuh somebody tuh help wid the lot o’ tiefing of crops dat does be going on all the time, the police catching up wid some o’ the crooks and ovah the pas’ couple o’ weeks, I see dat a few o’ dem get charged.
But these people real bold and bare-faced, though. These people does watch a man wukking in the sun and rain, morning noon and night and while he toiling and sweating, dem watching and only waiting till it is time fuh the man tuh reap he crops and then dem does move in and carry ’way all of it, leaving dat poor man wid next-kin-tuh-nutten. Some people ain’t got nuh kinda heart or conscience at all, hear?
But while it is good tuh see the police catching up wid the two-foot thieves, duh got another set o’ thieves dat nuhbody cahn seem tuh get rid of at all and duh like duh multiplying like wild fire. Dem is the four-footed ones dat ya cahn catch just so.
Dem doan come out in the night; dem is the ones dat does come out early when morning just barely break out and nuhbody ain’t start tuh work yet. Or dem does come out in the middle o’ the day when the workers take a break or in the late evening when the workers looking tuh pack up fuh the day. I talking ’bout the monkeys.
Ya like ya cahn get rid o’ dem at all and the brutes wicked and devious. Dem is the ones who doan drive by and scope out ya crops; ya doan see dem because dem does hide quietly behind the leaves in the trees and watch evah single thing dat you put in dah ground from day one. When nuhbody ain’t around, dem does come out in duh droves and check out the crops like dem put duh there.
It look like duh got certain families dat does specilise in certain types o’ crops. Duh got the ones dat doan wait fuh certain crops tuh fully mature. Doan leh dem see a few pumpkin blossoms peeping out – duh gone.
Doan talk ’bout the sweet peppers, beans, carrots and dem kinda crops so. When duh see the blossoms or young vegetables peeping out, dem does come in and pick off all the young blossoms. Then duh got another set dat does allow the crops tuh get fairly big, like the cassava and sweet potatoes; dem is the professional diggers. Dem know when it is time tuh pull up.
But ya know the hardest part o’ this whole monkey business? A farmer might not mind losing a few pounds o’ cassava or sweet potatoes tuh the monkeys, but the wicked brutes does go all ovah the people field. Instead o’ eating duh belly full and gine ’long bout duh business, duh does just be pulling up, biting and pelting way as duh go ’long. Duh doan even eat the whole thing.
Sometimes ya cahn get a mango, sugar apple, soursop or nutten off ya fruit trees fuh the monkeys. The trees might be full o’ blossoms or young fruit and you does be watching and hoping fuh some good fruit, either tuh eat, sell or share wid family or friends, but the monkeys won’t have none o’ dat; dem does jump all through the trees and shake down all the young blossoms or fruit.
Ya cahn catch dem and bring dem before the law courts; ya cahn lock dem up. The only way tuh get rid o’ dem is tuh kill dem out. It might sound cruel but wha’ else ya gine do? How else ya gine get rid o’ dem? I hear some people talking ’bout how the monkeys ain’t got nuhwhere tuh live because the people building everywhere and duh cutting down the trees so the monkeys losing duh natural habitat. Well, I suppose ya gine have tuh stop people from building duh homes so dat the monkeys population could grow and thrive.
All I would tell ya’all is dat in the same way wunna doing something ’bout the two-footed thieves, wunna gotta do something ’bout the four-legged ones. All o’ dem got the farmers frustrated.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.