The Way I See It

By:Curtis Morton

The way I see it, as individuals, we should strive always to be HONEST.

The old adage ‘Honesty is the best policy,’ still holds true, even in 2017.

This week I focus my attention on those persons who are stealing fruits and vegetables that belong to other people and selling them and making a huge profit in the process.

On Wednesday, I pulled up close to family lands at Fenton hill and observed a parked vehicle, close to an area which has an Amory Polly mango tree. I went about my business but observed that even after I was completed with my tasks, the vehicle remained parked.

I got curious and waited for a while. Soon a man came from the bushes, in the general direction of the tree and took a flour bag from the vehicle and returned to the land.

I realized then what was happening and I drove my vehicle alongside the other vehicle and tried to get the attention of the female driver. I recognized her as a well-known vendor.

All of a sudden, she was really ‘busy’ on her phone. When she finally looked and I calmly told her:

“Please tell your male friend that he is on private property and I would advise that he leaves now and you can take whatever mangoes that you already have but do not come back.’

She looked appalled and said: “Oh, is you all land—ok.”

Well I newa!

Now, I really think that I was nice to her because I heard of another Gingerlander, who caught some people stealing her mangoes, red handed on her land with baskets and buckets filled. She on the other hand, asked them to count the mangoes, charged them for the amount and still confiscated the mangoes, leaving them with their empty containers!

Well I could not be so heartless but still, people should not be so TIEF.

Many times, I have heard people talking about persons from a particular nationality as the guilty ones who are raiding trees of other persons and selling their ware in St.Kitts but I have news for you.

Those persons are mostly hard working individuals and are more minded to buy the mangoes from the owners and then sell.  Yes, they do not own trees but for the most part, they are willing to pay for the stuff.

On the other hand, we do have a few locals who are stealing on a regular basis.

There is one particular guy, from the Brown Pasture area, who makes it a habit of going to all parts of the island and loading up with bags of mangoes, breadfruit—anything that he can get his hands on and then sells them.

Somebody even said that he is so bent on the sale that when he starts with one price, he is willing to negotiate and lower the price, in order to make the sale.

There is a breadfruit tree close to me and the owner is off island. Occasionally, I have seen people pass by and pick one or two breadfruit and that is acceptable, because I assume they are going to cook for personal use, but one day this guy came there and literally raided the tree. I mean he SLAUGHTERED it (no pun intended).

I recall many years ago, my dad received a letter, which read in part: ‘Dear Mr. Morton, I recently became a Christian and I am seeking your forgiveness. I am one of those persons who used to steal your mangoes and sell them in St.Kitts. Please forgive me.’

The letter was unsigned and we never found out who the individual was.

Now people who steal are making the business bad for the honest vendors because I understand that the potential buyers in St.Kitts are now mighty suspicious of some of the products because somebody said that if people do not stop stealing their mangoes, they going to ‘fix them.’

I have a suggestion then.

Maybe the persons who own the fruits should give to the buyers a receipt which can be produced to show that the goods were indeed bought and not stolen. There must be someway of proving the legitimacy of the receipt as well, maybe by a phone call to the owner or by some other method.

However, persons who are bent on stealing from other people need to stop that atrocious behaviour now.

You want a few mangoes to eat, then ask and it shall be given to you but do not go on other people’s property and steal their stuff and sell them!

You know what is amazing?

I once gave a friend of mine some mangoes and he said thanks and asked me where they came from. I told him where our land was located and he said: ‘Oh me and —(name withheld) does go there  to tief mango all the time but I did not know was you all land.’

Then he said something that was even more shocking. He said ‘ But the mangoes taste sweeter when you steal them.’

Well I newa!

So we need to change that mind set, for the good of our blessed land.

May God help us to develop right attitudes.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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