Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dark Things on Wings

Paint me with citronella oil and call me Warrior-Gyal. I going on a hunt, I going for the kill and the enemy is them Dark Things on Wings.

Them Things sneak up with these May-June rains, sneak in between the pouring wah-wah, and sometimes pitta-patta. As soon as the rain ease up and them grey clouds pull back one kanchee bit, them Dark Things on Wings rush out in black flocks. I want to believe that they form unions - they arrive so thick, in unison.

Oh? My venture to kill them is a frivolous one? Skin irritation, allergic reaction and swelling ain’t that bad?

Well, what about dengue that them Dark Things cause? It come with fever to blister you, and pain so fierce even your eyelashes hurt, one sufferer did tell me. And the hemorrhagic kind make your gums bleed.

And what about malaria? That kill millions in plenty countries, kill children in different lands - every so many seconds, one child dead. I ain’t know how my mother survive it as a chile. Fever blaze she skin, chills rattle she bones and pain make she very marrow cry out.

And don’t let me talk about filaria, which them Dark Things bring, sticking parasite into you, then your leg swell grotesque, make your leg, from your knee down, look like a giant, mutant elephant foot.

How them Dark Things get this power is a story so olllld, old like the story of Man. I hear it from my mother who hear it as a chile from Long Lady, who did live in she village.

One day, me nanee, my mother’s mother, send she girl-chile to return a coconut grater to Long Lady. Them Dark Things been zinging around Long Lady yard in heavy, black clouds.

“Clap them, kill them,” Long Lady say. “Don’t make them bite you.

One day,” Long Lady say, “the very first Dark Thing go to God.

“ ‘God,’ Dark Thing say, ‘I want to have power to kill people.’

“ ‘No,’ God say. ‘Go and bite people. If them nah kill you first then you got power.’

“So clap them, kill them,” Long Lady say.

Yesterday, in we yard I blast a basin full o’ brooms, a box with empty plant pots, all corners, with Baygon. Mother Nature haul sheself into she green-leafy cloak, screw up she face at the rotten insecticide smell. I sorry Mother Nature, I sorry, I ain’t got no other method that ain’t gon harm the land, no safe method like insect eating plant growing near Kaieteur, we interior waterfall.

I did hear that them Israeli scientists formulate a safe method, sugar and something else, put it in trees to attract them Dark Things and kill them...but until that become available...

...and until we get we own scientists here...oh but this one is a dream, we don’t seem to put much energy into science research here, and all we Bright Young Things migrate, leaving we with them Dark Things on Wings.

Aiyeee, but them Dark Things dwell Abroad too, and the list of troubles they can cause there too can read like a death chant.

Lucky for me, I got a fighting chant, a chant that my mother learn as a chile with she classmates, Mam Bruce teach them. [I wish, I wish I did know who that long-ago writer is, so I can give credit.]

We all are jolly hunters
Though we haven’t got a gun,
We’re out to slay wild animals
And we’ll have lots of fun.
The animals we’re hunting have lots of people killed,
And should you let them bite you
They will make you very ill.
Look there’s a mosquito
Smack smack smack.
There he is again
Now setting on your back.
Kill him while you have the chance
He’s a deadly foe.
The cause of all your fever is a mosquito.

Now paint me with citronella oil and call me Warrior-Gyal, I going on a hunt.

p.s mosquito is ‘he’ and not ‘she’. I kill one and had a good look.


Louis-Fran├žois Pilard said...

Maybe I'd believe in God all the time if it werent' for this so strange invention of his: mosquitoes. I read forty percent of humanity had malaria. I also read a kind of plant, of the Artemisia species, could help fight this specific disease. Just coming back from a boat trip inland (along the Maroni) my guts and my sleep were disturbed by malarone (a drug against malaria which I took for ten days; with it you have 95% chance of not catching it; but don't take it more than three months, it says on the box.).

Olivia said...

Dengue fever was unfortunately exported to Houston a few years ago...Thankfully, mosquitoes don't like me so I rarely got bitten (though I heard somewhere that means there is something wrong with you...ehhh!) while my Dad used to get eaten alive. And even better, there aren't many in London!

sablonneuse said...

It is dreadful that something so small can be so dangerous and yet human beings can't work together to come up with a really effective solution.
Keep safe GG.

bakannal said...

but why u so militant all of a sudden?

Cream said...

I love your PS, Gigi!
Reminded me of this!
I hope you can see it.

Michelle said...

In Africa I'd have donned my war paint and joined you. Here in Scotland I've seen two mosquitos in four years. TWO. Amazing!

But the midges make up for it. I thought the Scots were wimps when they warned me about midges. I mean, come on!! I'm born in Africa. I grew up with Bilharzia, bot fly, Sleeping Sickness, Malaria..

I'm going to be scared of this little itty bitty midge-thing? This little itty bitty thing sitting on my arm?

.. this itty bitty thing with ten thousand pirhana teeth in it's mouth and a family of six million now sitting (and biting) on my ears, nose, arms, legs, face. :-O

Midges won't kill you, but they are bad evil things. No wonder the ancient Scots ran down hillsides painted blue and screaming madly - they were wearing the first insect repellant and running for their lives.

Nea said...

Here in Sweden we have midges and mosquitoes to look forward to in swarms and swarms.
At least you can smack a mozzie, midges just give me a good reason to enjoy the long winter months.
Good hunting GG.

Robin said...

Nasty little bugger round hear call 'the Blandford fly'
I remember once working in the garden all day, I'd just installed a pond and was working on the waterfalls and rocky featues,
when I finally went indoors I glanced at the mirror and the elephant man was looking back at me!
lumps like tennis balls all over me.
and only then (once I'd seen them)they started to itch!

PI said...

Bravo GG my Warrior gal!
And here's me fretting because we had a swarm of bees today and it's a Bank Holiday. But someone must have told the bees and they've gone to play. Yip Ylp Ylp Hooray!
My step-daughter just back from Galapagos was bitten by a horse fly and one woman was bitten by a HORSE and fell in the shower and had to be stretchered home.
It's a jungle out there:}

apprentice said...

Yup the midge is a mean wee bugger.
I play join the dots on myself every summer. If I get bitten enough it might pass for a new boob :)

Malaria is not funny. Hope you zapped him good and proper GG.

Hayden said...

slap slap slap! every summer I get slap-happy in the evenings!

Mad Bull said...

How did you know the mosquito was a he?
I went up to someones house in a place called Midland Acres the other day. They were trying to sell me some land, but I wasn't interested. Imagine, we stood up outside the fellow's door talking and slapping away nonstop, so much so that the fellow referred to the mosquitos as his guard dogs! "Yeah man, my guard dogs, dem bad eeeh?", like he was proud. And then he wondered why I didn't buy the land?

cadiz12 said...

go get 'em, gg! i can't seem to get away from them! maybe i need to spend some time in Scotland.

Beenzzz said...

I don't like them nasty things. It's not so bad in the mountain regions of the U.S., but I know it was horror in Guyana. It was horror in India. All of us get riddled with mosquito bites. Good thing I had my malarone and bug repellant, because who knows how much worse it could've been.
Two pests I can't quite figure out. First, is the mosquito and the second one is the cockroach. How are they so powerful?

dawn said...

Ah, citronella, that weirdly shaped oil can and a mosquito net. I remember the battle very well.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Sometimes your posts make me long to visit Guyana. This one makes me glad to be in England. Let me know when you've exterminated them all, Warrior-Gyal, and I'll be on the next plane!

Island Spice said...

ah the mosquito wars..
its dry season here and the bush fires in the hills of Kingston are smoking up my house and keeping them at bay. Which is worse? I really miss the rain..

did u ever try the electric tennis racket looking mosquito zappers? i love those .. but i zap myself alot.

larry h. said...

Back in Mackenzie, since we had a "reliable" sanitation department, we often burnt our garbage. This killed two birds with one stone: it got rid of garbage and kept the mosquitoes at bay. As the summer comes around, we in NYC and north America have to worry about West Nile. Thankfully that is not in Guyana.

Viking said...

Sorry Gyal, only female mosquitoes bite.

Olivia said...

Viking is right, I just didn't bother to say...

gela said...

Cyan stand dem.

And ah notice dat dem not afraid of repellants eeda. chhups.

African Queen said...

Hi GG. Long time since I been to your lovely blog. I remember only too well the mozzies you have out there in Georgetown. Their bites really itch! A neighbour told us to use fish oil spray to repel them. Eeeww! Didn't work.

I had malaria once when I lived in Kenya a few years ago. It was horrible. I thought I was dying at the time! Very glad that England is free of them Dark Things. Wish you successful hunting Warrior-Gyal!

Dan Flynn said...


Fortunately the UK climate doesn't allow dangerous insects to survive, hurrah! So, no malaria, dengue fever, west nile fever or any other kind of fever, risk to us here in smug northern europe. Thankfully.


Olivia said...

Dan - no dengue, but we can get drug-resistant TB instead...

Dan Flynn said...


True, very true re the TB thing but unless I'm much mistaken mossies in the UK don't carry TB, or any other grim thing. THANK FUCK!

ML said...

I hate mosquito! For some reason, they LOVE me. YUCK!

Alexandra said...

hey GG have you been slacking of? or you think you can have summer vacation?? :) this is Ale btw ;)

Olivia said...

Gyaaaal, wheh you deh???

ROTFLMAO. That sounds SO much funnier considering that I have agreed to go out for a drink with 1) an Oxford educated barrister and 2) a polo-playing public school boy...


DCveR said...

Good luck on your hunt! I'll join you in your crusade, smacking every Dark Thing that comes my way too!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Lots of bad Dark Tings in W.Africa, I took my pills religiously, didn't stop me getting bitten but I didn't get malaria. Surprisingly nasty ones in Poland in the summer months. The Poles swear by vanilla essence as a repellent.

amandasblognews44 said...

Mitigator Rules!
I can recommend a new “scrub” product called “Mitigator Sting & Bite Treatment”; to say that it is terrific is an understatement! It actually removes venom by exfoliating the top layer of skin, opening the pores and drawing out the toxins. I had instant relief from pain and itching and all traces of the sting disappeared within minutes. I found it on the web at which is their military website. I called and they sold me (6) ½ ounce packages for about $2.00/pack (each resealable pack treats about 20 stings or bites). The only thing that can create a problem is if you wait too long to apply it, it should be rubbed in vigorously within the first few minutes after the bite or sting – the longer you wait, the less effective it is. I’ve used it on bees, wasps, fire ants (no blisters even appeared), mosquitoes and chiggers. They say it works on jellyfish but I’m a long way from the ocean so I haven’t needed it for that problem. No smelly chemicals, works great and is even safe for kids (the scrubbing replaces scratching so – no secondary infections). I should make a commercial for them!