Once upon a time, on a gently sloping plot of land in east Trinidad; bougainvillea blossomed, a tropical breeze played tunes that caused the fever grass to dance like tan tan and saga boy and the bamboo patch made eerie noises coaxing only the very adventurous to draw near. Yasmin Yardfowl felt her throat closing up as she looked at her chicklets in silent despair; they sat unaware of the beauty outdoors, entranced by the silly show [designed chiefly to kill brain cells] reigning on their 60″ flat screen TV.
She tried hard to swallow in preparation to speak. A tough old bird, now paralyzed by nostalgia because the good old days were fleeing fast. The richness of her Trinbago heritage was fading…blotted out by the big screen to which the chicklets beaks and bulging eyes seemed fastened. Yasmin yearned for a reality where new generations were joyfully connected to their foreparents and positive traditions colored brightly with exotic lingo, were the order of the day.
But wait! What if she was wrong? What if the past should just stay in the past so her tender birds could liberally lose themselves in convenience and ready-made shenanigans? She pondered desperately as she recalled her nenen‘s advice to put a ‘hot hops bread’ against her armpits, then go to a crossroad, drop the bread and never look back. That of course, was the solution given for a personal hygiene problem she had been grappling with; the logic was uncontested and the mental image made for a barrel of laughs. Was anything to be learned from the old folks?
Sure enough, a warm feeling encased her craw, swirling inside her as was the calming breeze outside. It was the recollection of a good old fashioned lime; the kind that conjures hot hops bread rituals and a wide-mouthed laugh that cannot be restrained. In that moment she knew that she should begin at once to preserve beloved customs, document them and live them with her progeny.
Memories flowed through the pen clutched in her wing, onto a scratchpad; to be expertly published and lovingly carried to tender feather-covered ears and hearts. Thus came an ABC book like no other (she started with the basics); because the best of the past could be combined with the best of the present to ensure the brightest possible future. This is that book…