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Tenement Yard Part 3 – Hard-Aze Pickenies.

Written by Kharl Daley

Hard-Aze Pickenies.

Ever since infancy, things seemed ‘weird’ with Kyman. Never would he show any interest in the stuff little boys his age do, but rather love to play with girl-toys and act ‘girlie girlie’ every ‘live long day.’ His mother Miriam, has been trying relentlessly to curve his ways, but ‘no bra-ba, nuh him’ and now she has to put up with all the stigma, taunts and teases.

Miriam had long gotten rid of Kyman’s father. They use to fuss and fight like ‘puss & dawg’ too much, and on top of that, he gambled ever penny earned. Never once did he ever come home a winner. Kyman is then the only ‘man’ in the house amongst five other siblings.

Miriam was always concerned about her son’s ‘behavior.’ She is fully aware of the tenants’ gossip; the other children were especially mean to Kyman and so Miriam never took her eyes off him. It is like mother hen, chick and mongoose. Everyday she would have to fend off the verbal assaults launch at him.

Lef him, ha so God mek him, mek him stay how him is,” she would say in retaliation to the name callings…while quietly telling Kyman, ‘run when them attack you, noh mek them harm y’u mi dear; one day, one day, them wi meet them watah-loo.’

It is Saturday morning and Miriam has to go down to Coronation Market to buy provisions and ‘throw har pardna.’

Tan inna de ‘ouse till mi com bac an’ read a book, noh worry go outside,” she warn and then closes the door behind her. “Y’u hear weh mi seh Kyman?”

Yes Mama,’ said he in a snappy response.

Ok then darling, ha wi carry bac something foh y’u.’

‘Thanks Mama, bring ripe banana fe me please.’

‘aah-right son-son see y’u late-tah.’

Kyman is now alone, his sisters are at Sabbath School. They liked church, he didn’t, and except for when his mother is attending, he’d always stay home.

Informing her ‘bosom buddy’ misses Matilda of her departure Miriam shouted as she passes her door, “Miss Matilda! Mi a run go-out a road lickle, gie an eye foh mi, ha naa stay long, ha soon com bac, an’ Kyman ova deh by himself.”

Alright Miriam, Mi dey yah, mi naw go noh weh. By the way, ha weh y’u a go so early?” a chuckling Matilda inquired.

“The same place weh mi an’ y’u use to buck up” said Miriam in a cheeky tone as she sets foot to her journey, leaving Matilda in an uproar of laughter.

Although ‘girlie girlie,’ Kyman was a little ‘hard-aze boy’ and as soon as his mom left, lo and behold he was out the door…unbeknown to Matilda.

Outside, several children were already playing. In little groups, the girls played hopscotch and jacks, while the boys played marble and spins gig. Kyman heads straight to the jacks group.

On seeing him, a little mischievous brat and perhaps the smallest one in the group playing marbles shouted, ‘Dah boy deh a sissy,’ and instantly fired a barrage of rock stones at him. With lightening speed, Kyman pick up foot, and as he bends the corner of the house one of the stones connects in his head back.

Woooooeee! Woooooeee! Lard Gad mi dead now, woooeeee, dem bus mi head!” wailed Kyman as the blood spurt down his neck and shoulder with nose-naught trickling from his nostril. In a jiffy all the adults appear. “Is who chop him? Is who chop the woman pickney?” hollered Miriam.

Ha nuh mi, ha nuh mi lick him, a nuh mi chop him,” the children answered in unison. Each parent then grabs their child/ren, interrogating them one by one, and as Hyacinth questioned hers, she notices the trembling as he pisses his trousers.

Ha y’u chop Kyman?” She demanded to know in a stern voice. Amid pouring tears Delroy bow his head in confession.

Mi a sen y’u to y’u blasted Poopah, tedeh, tedah yah, y’u naa tan in yah put mi inna nuh trouble an’ badaration wid people pickney,” laments a vex Hyacinth as she slaps him several times with her slippers; sending him off in one piece of cow’ bawling.

Hyacinth then took Kyman and hurried him off to the pipe to wash away the blood. By this time Matilda had ran to her room, returning moments later with a bottle of detol and bandages. “It cut bad?” she inquires from Hyacinth.

Noh really, but is because him blood so hot why it bleeding so much. Y’u see how the devil strong though sah?”

“Hush yaah Kyman, sahri babes, Delroy nevah did mean to hurt y’u,” stated Hyacinth as she gentle squeezes his head to her bosom. Matilda then cleans and dresses the wound. The other children by this time were out of sight and the place was as silent as a lamb. They’d all return to their living quarters and no doubt in fear and fret-ration of the beatings to follow.

About the author

Kharl Daley