Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 3:38 pm

The Jumbee Man

in 1972 - 1973

Very long ago there lived a father, mother and their six children. They all lived together on a farm. This farm was far away from the others in the area. Near that farm was a huge tamarind tree. At midday the area under the tamale tree was dark and scary. Because of this, people told jumble stories about the tree.



The father whose name was Dick, had a cow pen near tbe tree, and in the morning and afternoon of each day, he would go to look after the cows. He had to go near to the tamarind tree and sometimes under it because the cows were usually there at these hours. Everytime be went, his two sons, Jack and Dennis would go with him, they usually helped him with the cows. This day, the boys did not go with him so the work took longer and Dick had not finish his work by the time it was getting dark.


He was hurrying with his work and was about to leave when he heard deep voice saying, "Bring Dennis tomorrow." Dick became afraid because did not see anyone. He could not move, he was so frightened.


Dick went home running breathlessly, he was unable to speak when he in arrived, everyone in his family stood around him and wondered what could have happened to him since he had never before behaved like that. After a few minutes, however, he relaxed and in a calm voice said nothing happened because he did not want his children to become afraid.


When he was in the kitchen with his wife Diana, and the children were not around, he told her of the strange unknown voice, she told him not to wop and tried to cheer him up. He soon was in a very good spirit.


The next day be went by himself to look after the cows. Just as he was leaving, again he heard the deep voice, this time, he heard: "Bring Dennis and leave him under this tree, you will get one hundred dollars.''


Dick was very, very worried however, be decided not to carry his son or tell his wife. At night, in his dream he heard the voice saying: "When you leave Dennis you will find the gold by the sunflower plant next to your front steps." Now this was the only sunflower plant on the farm, Dick decided to trick the Jumbee, so he bought a goat and sprinkled some water on its head, and called it "Dennis." He took the goat and carried it under the tamarind tree, and tied it, he then came home, went near the sunflower plant and saw the gold pieces.


In the afternoon, he went to the farm, he did not see the goat. He remained a bit later than usual that evening, because the cows were giving him a lot of trouble. When he was about to leave he heard singing from inside the tree. He saw the tree shaking although there was no wind blowing, all else was calm, Dick became terribly afraid.


That night he did not sleep, the next morning, he packed everything he had and he and his family with their cows left the farm, leaving the ''Jumbee man" behind.


Debra Sukdeo – 1E