What don’t kill you, does fatten you, we does say.
If this supastition don’t kill we, it must fatten we. Not that I’s saying we want to eat the cause of this particular supastition and grow fat. Because, if we’s to believe Fazal, gardener-grass cutter-tree trimmer-doer of small favours like fetching upstairs from we car we ten gallon bottled water-storyteller, just hurting the thing feelings gon harm we.
“You want a turtle, Fazal? I looking for a home for one.”
Fazal set he bicycle to stand alone and he settle on the big, long, green bench. “Turrrtle?” he say slow and grin. “Huhn!”
“Ow, you’ li’l boy would love it…”
“…And the turtle need land, cool shelter, grass and trees.”
“Huhn…huhnn.” He eyes and teeth flashing more than night sky with stars and day clouds with sun.
“Whaa’? Whattt?” I stop sweeping leaves and I lean on me brush-handle. Me mother settle mo' comfortable on she bench.
“One time, before me marry, me been working in a bushy area. I see the grass moving. When me look, is a small turtle. Me kerry it home and me had it for a long while, then me marry and Rehana make me give it away. And now, every time she go somewhere and she see a turtle, she got to stand and stare. If you see how long, long she does watch the turtle.”
“Man, I really got to ask she why.”
“Meeee nah know.”
Man blame he wife but truth will out.
He say, “But you know, if a turtle cry on you, you get bad luck for the rest o’ you’ life.”
“Haaaha,” I laugh. “I never hear that in me whole born life. If a turtle cry because of you, it bring bad luck. But anyway, we should tell all them fishermen this so they never hurt one, single sea-turtle ever again.”
“All them fisherman know this. That is why they nah trouble sea-turtle. One fisherman, he ketch a sea-turtle to make soup and that turtle cry on he. That man boat never get luck again.”
We pause to digest this.
Then Fazal drawl in he usual style, “Land turtle is the same. Y’see if you in the bush, and you got a turtle in you’ bag and you try to hitch a ride out, if that truck-man know you got a turtle in you’ bag, he gon never give you a ride! One truck-man give a man a ride and he nah know the man had a turtle in he bag. When the truck break down, them other man find out who had a turtle. You know, they put out that man.”
Huhn! And to think, I promise me friend that, when I find a home for she tuttle, I gon transport it in we car…