As a little boy growing up in the island of Wakenaam, I often listened to the gaff of my late nana (grandfather) and his friend, the late David of Great Troolie Island, while they drank a cut-down or flattie Russian Bear rum, rolling and smoking their Capstan cigarettes in the late ʼ50s. One of their nancy stories stuck with me forever: here it is.
Two brothers received a Dutch-head cheese as a Christmas gift from their employer; they faced the dilemma of cutting it so each brother got an equal share. Not trusting each other to make a fair cut, they invited their neighbour to cut the cheese. The neighbour’s first cut was unequal, but he assured them that he would make it right by slicing a small piece of the bigger piece to make two equals, and he would take the small slice for his work. The brothers agreed. The second cut resulted in another unequal share, and again the neighbour assured the brothers he would get it right by another slice that he would take for his work. However, the result was once again two unequal shares that caused the brothers to start arguing, accusing one other of distrust and bringing an outsider who was benefiting more than they were. They started fighting, and as they were fighting, the neighbour took home more than half the cheese.
This story I remember daily as I read the online Guyana newspapers and social media from my home in NY where I have been residing for several years. It appears as though the Guyana brothers and sister namely, the APNU and PPP membership and supporters both local and in the diaspora are fighting for equal shares of the cheese while the neighbours are slicing the cheese and taking it away. In the case of Guyana, the neighbours are Trinidadians, Surinamese, Brazilians, Chinese and soon, ExxonMobil.
Those two departed souls who were friends of a different race (Indian and Africans) lived as if they were brothers and taught me a lifelong lesson. When I became an adult I realized that story was a lesson meant for my elder brother and I; we were about six and four years old. I hope the little story above will be a revelation for my compatriots but my hopes are not high.