"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

The Grim Reaper

Lunch is disturbed by the sound of thuds and crashes.

The staff have kindly closed my front door but palm fronds and coconuts falling to the ground are not easily muted.

I put down my sandwich to take a look.

The toddy harvester is perched high in our coconut palm, perhaps thirty feet above the ground. He uses a single tree-branch as a ladder, to climb the first ten feet. Then, having looped a rope sling around his ankles, scampers up the rest of the trunk with kangaroo-like strides.

The coconuts are falling quickly. With them come the lower palm fronds, which had begun to droop down on to the house and garden wall.

In the past I have tried not to witness this harvest. Watching impotently, as coconuts smash violently into the shrubs, walls and gate lights, can feel as if you are trapped in some fun-fair nightmare.

He slithers effortlessly down the palm tree and chops the tops from five coconuts. We all drink the tender coconut water.

Shaji and Anu start to tidy the harvest rampage.


Harmony is restored.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


One response

  1. How interesting and how topical when we are all in need of a hot toddy at present.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s