Yuh memba when yuh did lickle, how sometime yuh coulda foo-fool an people tell yuh all kinda ting an yuh believe dem. Dem use to tell me dat if me give somebody someting an den tek it back me wi get ‘hog-sty’ pon mi eye. My breddah use to wake up plenty mornin wid ‘hog-sty’ pon him eye. Him did love sooks too much. But me was di kindest soul (wink-wink) so me nevah use to get ‘hog-sty’. An yuh see when my breddah an him friend dem a play, an dem nevah want me fi play wid dem, dem talk bout ‘Milly-Hull’ wi get me if me follow dem go a bush. Wha name so, God he knows. But all me know is when dem bawl out:
“Milly-Hull a come, Milly-Hull a come”, me jus tek foot eena hand, an is under mama bed dat me gawn.
Missis, mek me tell yuh someting, no foo-fool pickney naah mek again. No, chile, for dem yah pickney a Foreign a tell me tings wha big, austeering ooman like me no know. An no badda yuh tell dem a no so it go. Chile, dem is no pickney, is pure man an ooman dem.
Me memba when me did lickle, yuh know, an dem tell me seh if me go a sea an sea get rough, me wi get pregnant. Heh, chile, one day dem have school outing go a Puerto Seco Beach. I galivant an splash an dip all day. Who fi get duck get duck, an dem bway nevah fraid fi duck, some a dem hoighty-toighty show-off gal pickney dem. Me had fun man. We bring rice an peas an fry chicken, whoai, we had a ball. Missis, afta belly full an we rest, fas eena me go decide fi tek a swim. Mercy, ma, sea no get rough pon me.
Ah fret, ah fret so til. Dat deh time, ask me wha name pregnant, nuh. All me know, whatever it is, is a bad ting fi happen to yuh. So me go home an fraid fi tell mama for she did done warn me aready, so me go to granny:
“Granny, yuh know seh me pregnant.”
Granny stop brap. She clap dung pon har chair an haul me to har.
“Ambrosine Thermutis Smith, what yuh saying to me?”
Me explain to har mi dilemna. Granny rock back an open har mouth wide. A dat deh time me know seh Granny nevah got no teeth. She leggo one long peas-soup laugh. I trying to figure if is someting so bad, why Granny a laugh afta me. An all dis time me just a look up eena har mouth how it dark an wide. Granny proceed fi explain to me di facts of life to di best of har knowledge.
Chile, ah tell yuh. But nowadays I notice seh foo-fool pickney stop mek. For from dem born dem eye open, especially in dis Foreign. Who naah operate VCR a operate TV, an as to di computer. Dem nuh easy, chile. All di same we still need di innocence. For no joke no sweet like when yuh meet up wid ol-time friend an oonu siddung an laugh bout who did fooler. An it mek di burden lighter, an di crosses easier fi bear, for it no easy at all eena dissa foreign place. It no easy an dat is no joke.

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Vjange Hazle