previous page
next page
WhereI live in the far southern Belizean district known as Toledo, I have a wide range of characters stopping by my house on a quite a regular basis. Collectively they always appear at the gate to my garage champa with a motif, mostly scams that cross the spectrum of possibilities.

One particular day that sticks out in my mind entailed two of the more colourful 'yuts' that have questionable backgrounds that leave little to the imagination arriving to the gateway. Since I have bailed one of the two out of jail on a prior occasion, I was prepared for anything.

I should first explain that the incident that required imprisonment involved a situation at one of the three local cool spots that left the ‘yut’ I am referring to little choice if he was to protect his ego from further abuse. With his back against the wall that evening at that point when the small green bottles of cheap rum blur the senses to where a good man can find himself in a blackhole void of logic or principle without a shred of sanity remaining, the 'yut' left the bar and walked the mile or so to his home.

He later returned to the bar with an extremely sharpened machete and took out his drunken revenge upon one the assailants who had verbally assaulted him earlier in the evening. Luckily the opposing forces he had the beef with had left an hour or so before his return. Their departure left only the opportunity for the ‘yut’ to weld his rage upon a remaining bicycle. And therefore he began to systematically destroy the bike with the brutal force that only a machete can levy upon an unprotected two-wheel ride. The tires were the first to burst, the mainframe lasted longer but in the end fought back, that's when the raging ‘yut’ felt the wrath of the beach bike, for he busted his knuckles requiring more rum to sooth the pain.

The entire episode seemed to have been played out that night, the verbal abusers had gone off towards their respective villages, the ‘yut’ I am referring to eventually fell asleep under the cover a champa at another coolspot that allows overnight stays since their Belikin beer cooler is double tripled locked and inside the confines of the room where the owner, his wife, two kids and their captured gibnut sleeps night after night. The days and weeks that ensued allowed the village to look the other way and move on to more important issues like why the Angelical Christian academy was now preaching to their ever so young student body that American Indians were equal in their plight to the Belize Maya, disregarding the reality that the use of the word 'Indian' is as insulting to the native North Americans as it is to their indigenous counterparts, the Maya peoples of Central American.

But as is the case in Belize and other communities scattered about south of "the far frozen north" as the noted Belizean gringo radio talk show host that constantly refers to his former homeland, time and again, Belize is indeed a place where tempers may subside, but they never completely disapate. And so two months later the ‘yut’ that had decided who decided take justice into his on hands by picking up a tool that should have been reserved for cutting back intrusive bush country or failing a tree for firewood to cook a nights meal became the ‘yuts’ downfall.

For one morning out of the infinity of nowhere that is the legal system in Belize came several police officers in a small white Japanese car with bright blue letters declaring exactly who they are and what they are about. When the officers arrives, the ‘yut’ stood silently under the humble shelter he, his cousin and his cousins father call home which is defined by a concrete shell, a place that has no power, no plumbing, no water in-house less that they are forced to draw from a well down the road that they could easily be arrested for stealing H2O.

So from 'yuts' in crisis, where is this going, since I am supposedly writing now under the editorial dictate/criteria of 'backyard birding'?? Well, the same duo arrived one day with a bird in a cage. They told me it was a parrot and that they needed to find it a good home. As the story came out, it was a tale of a poor bird that had gotten caught in a bush next during a heavy rainstorm next to their 'house'. As they were concerned for the birds safety, they snuck up on it and threw a towel over the bird.

Since they were by their own admission not in a position to properly care for the bird, they felt that they should come to me for help. That's right, and for a mere BZ$40.00 they would allow me to care for the bird. To prove their good intentions, they said I could have the cage for free.

As I am not in the habit of buying exotic birds and animals, I explained that it was against the law. We talked for a while longer and it was decided that if the bird lived I would pay them BZ$20 for saving the birds life. However if the bird was to pass away, I would owe them nothing. They both seemed to think that we were on the right track and so the bird was left in my care.

Soon after they were down the road, I opened the door to the cage and let the parakeet that was really not a parrot at all, fly. I guess you could say it was a free bird in paradise. Days later when the ‘yuts’ came by to see about collecting that bird saving reward, I explained that the very night they left, the bird managed to escape. They were at first perplexed but soon they agreed that it was best that the bird had flown the coop, because the cage they had built was too small. They also said that the cage would now come in handy. That's when they produced an iguana they said had lost its way and came looking for food at their house only the day before.

Top photos provided by and

Table of Content

previous page
next page