Milk Not the Best Business

Image from Morguefile

Image from Morguefile

My routine on my new job was simple. I would arise early every morning to milk the cows. After filling the gallon bottles, I would then saddle the horse, tie the five bottles on either side of the saddle and then make my way to town. I had been trained by Little Man and a boy younger than myself who also lived at the ranch. Once I arrived in town I would unsaddle the horse, then hide the saddle under some brush and tie up the horse nearby at a small stream so that he could have an abundant supply of water to drink and grass to eat for the day, until I had sold all the milk and was ready to go back up to the ranch on horseback.

At first I had hoped to be able to take a small canoe and paddle around with the milk and in the evenings row back to the ranch but, I found out from my friend, the ranch boy who lived with his parents at the ranch- who were all black Spanish people- that using the horse would be easier on me since the horse knew his way back much better than I did. Really it had been nice to take a break during the day visiting my home since I’d begun to miss my new neighborhood. I would stop and leave some milk for the home for our babies and enjoy the scenery of my new neighborhood. The scene in the apartment seemed just like it had been when I first showed up in Colon to live with my mother and younger siblings- a house full of kids. The smaller kids in the house reminded me also that Aminta and Pug had been longtime friends and now were almost like sisters who had gotten pregnant almost at the same time.

Those sea baths at the local beach were doing me a lot of good, strengthening me in fact. It was then I vowed that I would drop the woman who had been making me depressed as soon as I could. As soon as I could get back to Colon, I thought, I would ditch Pug.

I had accepted the job selling milk as it seemed easy enough at the time but, the days turned into nights when I began to worry about being able to sell all the milk. Many days I would be carrying the milk around town all day without making a sale. It seemed to me no one needed milk but me in that whole town. In fact, I began noticing that there were scarcely any babies or even small children in town. Not even pregnant women.

So, there I was leaving milk at my home for both babies while I spent all day trying to sell something no one seemed to want even when I’d offer some of my regular customers more milk than they could pay for. Mrs Williams, the owner of the ranch, didn’t seem to realize how hard a job it was to sell people in Bocas Town on milk and she acted towards me as if I hadn’t been making enough of an effort to sell her one and only product.

This story continues.

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