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CRUISING KIDS’ CORNER

“When FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, RUN BOYS RUN!

I was a little girl about your age”, Granny Lovenia leaned forward to tell Beth, “we used to jump about playing ‘fire on the mountain, run

CARIBBEAN COMPASS

“Fire on the Mountain, Run, Boys, Run” is one of a number of ring or circle games, similar to Ring Around the Rosie and Brown Girl in the Ring, that originated in Africa and came to the Caribbean with the slaves. The person standing in the centre of the circle calls out “Fire on the mountain, run, boys, run.” The children in the outer circle turn and run around the circle. Those on the inner circle stand with arms raised representing trees. When the person standing in the centre says, “Fire is out”, all runners and the centre player try to find a partner by standing behind a tree. The one who does not find a partner becomes the centre caller. All partners change places and the game goes on. “Fire on the mountains, run, boys, run” is also a well-known fiddle tune with Scots-Irish origins. Scots-Irish people came to the Eastern Caribbean as indentured servants after the prohibition of slavery. String band music is still popular on many islands, and Carriacou features string bands at its annual Maroon Festival.

FEBRUARY 2011

boys run’.” “Is that the mountain we can see behind your cottage?” ‘The very one. And during the dry season, here in Trinidad, we often saw fires on that very mountain and in other places too. We could see the flames leaping high, blood red at night and when the wind blew this way we could smell the smoke.” “Weren’t you frightened, Granny? I would be.” “I shivered in bed at night, doux-doux, I was so scared.” “I hope we don’t have any fires while I’m staying with you, Granny, and if we did, would we have to run away like in the game?” Beth lived in a suburb of Port of Spain and her parents had sent her to stay with her grandmother in the high Northern Range during her school break. by Lee Kessell “I hope not, doux-doux, but you never can tell. Anyhow, after I’ve made us a mug of cocoa tea, I’ll tell you about a brave little girl who lived even closer to the mountain.” Beth went into the kitchen with her granny and watched the old lady as she grated the hard stick of cocoa to add to the pot of warming milk. The cocoa melted and rich globules of cocoa butter floated on the surface. Granny bought her cocoa sticks from the village women who collect the cocoa beans, grind them and roll them between their palms, and Beth agreed that granny’s cocoa was much better than the cocoa her mother made from the powder in the tin. When Granny was settled in her big, comfy armchair with Beth on a cushion at her feet, she began, “Totty was just six years old when a big fire blazed up on the mountain.” “But how did it start?” interrupted Beth. “Sometimes boys on walks to the waterfall below the mountain break bottles on the trail just for fun and when the sun falls on the glass it sets the dry grass smoldering until it bursts into flame and the wind carries it up the mountain. Sometimes people light fires to barbecue their chicken and just an ember left behind will blaze up again.” Beth sighed, then after a drink of the cocoa tea she said, “Go on with the story Granny.” “Well, Totty watched the fire all night until, just as dawn was breaking, she burst into tears at the thought of all the poor little animals caught in the blaze. So, drying her eyes, she dressed and ran out of the house. She ran all the way up the mountain and arrived just as the sun came up. Totty heard the cries from the little animals that were caught with the fire raging behind them, so she rushed through the smoke and picked up as many of the small ones as she could carry and stumbled down the path, hoping that the others would follow. But all of a sudden Totty saw that another fire had started lower down the mountain and was racing towards her. Trapped! There was only one thing that poor, terrified Totty could do and she did it. She leaped over the waterfall, animals and all, including all that had followed, just like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. They all struggled to the shallows and were safe behind the falls while the fire passed over their heads.” “Oh Granny, what a wonderful story!” sighed Beth. “I like happy endings, don’t you?” “All my stories have happy endings, doux-doux.” THE END

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DOLLY’S DEEP SECRETS by Elaine Ollivierre

We have looked at the ways in which coastal shores can be protected. What do we need to protect them from? We need to manage coastal erosion so that our beaches do not disappear. Coastal erosion is a natural process and occurs continuously as a result of weathering of the coastal rocks. The action of wind, rain and waves gradually wears away the rocks. Bits of land (stones, rock shards, soil, etc.) are carried away from the shoreline and deposited elsewhere. Erosion occurs when sediments are lost from a particular area but sometimes, the opposite happens and deposits actually add to the shoreline. This is called accretion. How do wind and rain cause coastal erosion? The wind picks up tiny particles of dust and whips them against the coastal cliffs. This sandblasting eventually wears away the rocks. Acid rain eats away at the rocks. How do waves cause coastal erosion? There are four main ways. • The waves hit the coastal rocks and cliffs with great force, especially in storms and tsunamis. The force of the waves pounds the rocks and can break them up. If there are air pockets in cracks in the rocks, the wave compresses

them. As the water recedes, the air can expand suddenly and crack the rock (hydraulic action). • The waves pick up small rocks and stones and debris from the sea bottom and from the beach and fling them at the cliffs. The stones gradually knock off pieces of rock and wear away the rock face in a process called abrasion or corrasion. • Some rocks will dissolve as they are hit by acidic sea water (corrosion). • Powerful waves can move around the stones already on a beach so that they grind against each other and become worn down to smooth pebbles (attrition). The amount of erosion which occurs in any place depends on the geology of that place. Hard rocks like granite do not erode as easily as softer rocks like chalk or limestone. Coastal formations like caves, arches and stacks are more usually found in areas of softer rock. Human try to halt the movement of sand and shingle from beaches by building groynes (breakwaters). While these may be successful for a particular location, they can have a detrimental effect on other places. For example, sand may be collected behind a groyne on one beach while further down-current, the next beach becomes depleted of sand. Mangroves can help to hold the sand and prevent erosion so it’s important not to cut them down.

DOLLY’S WORD QUIZ Match the words to their meanings: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Abrasion/corrasion Accretion Corrosion Hydraulic action Erosion

a) wearing away of soil and rock by forces of nature b) wearing away of rocks by scraping together c) wearing away of rocks by effects of water and air d) growing in size e) wearing away of rocks by chemical action

— Answers on page 45

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Welcome to Caribbean Compass, the most widely-read boating publication in the Caribbean! THE MOST NEWS YOU CAN USE - feature articles on cru...

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