Friday, February 18, 2011

Chapter 42 - Our Tiny Man

           Our tiny man is around the yard on a variety of jobs.  He and his family owned most of this land around here in times past.  His name is Abierto. (Abierto, Alberto, Alvaro is all the same guy depending on what mom hears at the moment -- Mel) Until he was pensioned, he worked on a regular basis on this orchard for Rita.  He must be a Jack of All Trades because he is the one she called when we needed plumbing work done. 
            Abierto tends the orchard, in a fashion.  At least he knows where there are good oranges. He came by the house yesterday afternoon with a haversack full of oranges.  They were much bigger than any that Melaney has picked up.  He also brought two ripe pineapples.  He wanted me to bring a bag and he transferred the oranges into my bag.  He wanted to give them to us. 
            Abierto is a figure for a story in itself.  He is so tiny, about five and a half feet and wouldn’t weigh 100 pounds soaking wet.  He has an infectious grin which shows a very few snaggle teeth that are very crooked.  On his head he wears an old safari hat and slung over his shoulder is a machete in a leather sleeve on a thin belt. He isn’t bent.  He moves like lightening, and particularly if he is climbing a tree.  His skin is weathered to the condition of rawhide.
            He likes us.  This must be because Rita likes us so well.  She is a sphere of influence around all of Poas.  If you want someone for a particular task, she has a friend.  It was her friend who became our car dealer, and also a good friend.  It is her friend who is our hairdresser.  Abierto is our friend now too.
            Abierto climbed a tree in our front yard with his machete in hand.  We had been after Rita for three weeks to get these limbs cut out.  This tree was sick, infected with some kind of parasite that curled the leaves and left lumps of strange matter in the leaves.  I know a sick tree when I see it, and I was concerned that the infection could spread to the other trees in the orchard.  Abierto cut out the affected limbs.  I would have thought a saw was the tool, but he did it with the machete.  After the limbs were all cut, he climbed down the tree and gathered the limbs into a group.  He dragged them across the grass to the other side of the property.  I want him to burn them, but he didn’t think it was necessary, I guess.
            This tiny little man must be at least 70 years of age.  If I could get him to use a weed eater on the grass around the house, I would be very happy. 
The whole orchard needs to be mowed, because when Melaney walks through it with the dog, clouds of mosquitoes buzz up and bite her.  She smells like a pickle sometimes, because I have her use vinegar on the bites.  It helps control the itch. (They don't all bite me, but I usually get one or two a day, --Mel)
I wonder what will happen when the rainy season starts.

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