I was telling my brother about the time Cousin Analis, she husband and she friend Jaya went to rainforest land, Iwokrama. They hike up a mountain and the young Amerindian guide say, “Shhh, stop…wild hogs in the bush…go back slooow…”
My brother snicker, “I bet he say that to add li’l spice to they trip.”
We mother say, “He musta smell them. Oh Lawd, them things stink! Nothing can’t stink more than them…I see them in London Zoo…”
I swear them crickets in the night raise they volume in agreement, “Eeka aaka nothing can’t stink eek more than wild hogs, aaak…”
Brother snicker. “Aiye, when cha-cha Deen describe them things running through bush, he say you can hear them crunching awara seed and all.”
Well! I don’t know if I believe that! To crunch awara seed a animal got to have jaws of steel…awara seed, hard and black, make outta material tougher than kryptonite.
Brother say, “When cha-cha describe wild hogs running through the bush, he say they cut a clear, clean path for miles better than a bulldozer…snakes, all them animals, fly outta they way. If you get ketch up in a tree and they down at the bottom, you better know how to jump from one tree to another to get away ‘cause they does dig down the tree with you in it.”
“You know about the time with cha-cha Deen and the wild hogs?” I ask.
Was in this same ol’ verandah cha-cha tell we that story.
It happen in the sixties, in the civil disturbance times, when he used to plant rice. He and he other rice farming friend, Papo, venture into the bush with they cutlass to get stick to make fire, to cook. Them older men give them the rifle with one bullet only.
“Use this only if somebody attack you,” them older men warn.
Cha-cha and Papo clear bush, cut dry stick.
“Heh, you see when me make so and stare into a bush!” cha-cha say. He bend down to demonstrate how he stare…then stop in horror. “Me see some eyes watching me, they red like fiyah! Me holla, run Papo, run. If you see fat, fat Papo run, he foot them nah touch ground. Me climb one tree and holla, climb Papo, climb. Hehehe, poor fat, fat Papo, if you see how he struggle. And down at the bottom them hog going grunkkk grunnnnk…”
Cha-cha decide this ain’t healthy at all. He had to do something to save he and Papo. Pow. He fire off the one bullet. Them hogs take off for the other side. Phew. Cha-cha and Papo head back to camp.
“When we tell them older men what happen, how they quarrel. Why you fire off the gun? They say, bullets precious, you can’t use them for any and everything. All you had to do was clang the flat side o’ you cutlass on a tree trunk, make one loud noise, them hogs woulda frighten and run ‘way.”
Like I always say, don’t come to Guyana for the nightlife. Come for the wild life.