The blame for the widespread abject poverty experienced on this farm squarely falls on the wings of the one in charge. Any visitor clearly notices the loudness on the airways, as he makes himself known to all and sundry from his perch on high. Undoubtedly, he is in charge of every square inch of the territory. Flying from place to place as he asserts his self-importance and dominates the scene, he allows no other male to rise to any semblance of prominence. It does not matter that he is aging, he exercises control over the females even from very early in the morning at the first crowing at day break.
He is responsible for farmers abandoning their lucrative farming business to become watchmen, and sponge on Poor Relief, and NIS non-contributory pension. Farm production in neighboring Carriacou has increased greatly because of the availability of a tractor to do most of the plowing at reasonable costs. Here however, plowing is done by hand and is tedious and expensive. When the local farmers group attempted to procure a tractor from available funding, they were told, “you guys are not real farmers.”
Further when seeds are sown, they scratch them out, as they seem to bathe in the dust. Thus, some of the seeds for germination are eaten, and the others dislodged from their grounding in the soil. Despite this the farmer may succeed in growing some crops to maturity and harvest for the love box hoping to secure payment in the distant future.
It is obvious that the farmer’s life as a watchman, or on the Poor Pension and Relief is not at all comfortable. The dance cannot pay for the lights. Nature calls him to the golden glory years of gardening to which he must return. He is thinking how to rid himself of the rooster and the whole cabinet of fowls. The few poor relief, and non-contributory eggs he receives cannot sustain him. Occasionally, he receives a lump sum when some of the fowls are sold. This he calls a prime grant. He is not in favor of this care free living. He is a responsible citizen and prefers to toil on his farm working in the productive sector and ensuring our country’s food security. He objects to his current lifestyle of poverty and puts the blame squarely on the rooster whose final crowing, he thinks he heard.
Anthony G. Stewart, PhD