EDITOR: After humans were evicted from the Mary Hutchinson primary school, the sheep and goats took over and occupied the building for upwards of five years. It was to here that many farmers returned to gather pen manure for their crops. The lettuce farmers were especially grateful, but the other farmers were very satisfied to have so much organic fertilizer at their disposal.
There is no doubt that the animals are in charge of the big animal farm known as Union Island. Humans are well aware that if they want to grow any plants, they must erect fences to keep out the animals, and even then, the animals may break through and destroy an entire crop.
Some claim that animals permanently on the loose is a cultural practice of Union Island, but this however is not true. Traditionally, animals were always cared for. Owners provided pasture and stored cornstalks and peas shells for the dry season. Additionally, special grasses and plants were cut to feed the animals.
Sometimes, animals were given a little freedom during the dry season but they were looked after and secured with the first sign of the rainy season.
With things totally out of control, those who want to engage in farming must contend with cows, sheep, goats, fowls, and pigs in addition to “Ba Natty black bird.”
When it was noised abroad that ply wood materials were being used to rebuild the Mary Hutchinson Primary School, there was a big celebration among the termites.
They were sure that they could inoculate the building in one day and initiate several feasts. Within three years, they could flatten the building.
The challenge they face is not insurmountable because those who should maintain the building will argue among themselves.
The watchman says that his job is only to watch. Even though he notices a termite highway being built he does nothing about it. The cleaner says that that is extra work for which she is not being paid.
The head teacher says that it is BRAGSA’s responsibility to exterminate the building. Students say that their parents told them that they did not come to school for that.
In the meantime the termites will have a field day and free reign destroying buildings that everyone needs but are unwilling to maintain.
Anthony G. Stewart, PhD