at LiTTribute To the Republic with readings and performances inspired by LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, at Knowsley, September 15, 2012
Good day ladies and gentlemen, and children too. I am here to tell you about my Auntie Krissy. I call her Krissy-wissy.
Sometimes, when I want to be naughty, I call her Christopher.
My auntie reads my story books with me. Sometimes we read the dictionary too! It is so much fun. You, and you, and you should try it sometime.
My auntie took me to Port of Spain and showed me where Trini writers worked at the newspaper.
She worked there too. “For peanuts,” she said.
“Why peanuts and not for money like Dad? I asked.
“Because people think writers are monkeys,” she said.
I laughed till my belly hurt. My peanut-crunching monkey-auntie is so funny!
I went to the library in Port of Spain for the first time with auntie Krissy wissy.
She tried to join me in the library so I could get books with a card.
Can you imagine the librarian asked ME for a utility bill?
I wondered what was wrong with her.
I was only three years old, like my little brother Premant. I could not read very well, then. I choose books for Krissy-wissy to read to me. I liked being with so many books and stories. I liked the pictures, but the stories in the books were so silly.
Auntie said they make no sense to Trini childrenand promised to write stories for me that will make sense.
Now she writes stories for me about Munnie, a Carnival butterfly. She writes about the birds of Phagwa, and the flags of Hosay.
I am now a big boy, five years old, and I could read, ent?I love the stories she writes.
She writes about the fishes near the volcano under the sea called Kick Em Jenny. That is a very sad story when the volcano goes boom.
She writes about growling ghosts at Devils Woodyard in Princes Town near grandma’s house. That is a scary story.
She writes stories for me about the first peoples who lived in Trinidad. She calls them Banwari. They lived in the forest.
I told her to add giant dinosaurs to the stories to make them better.
She wrote about Banwari and a dinosaur, and one for Premant about how the octopus lost its shell. I helped Premant count its eight legs.
I now like all the Banwari stories about the first children who lived in Trinidad. I told my auntie she should make a book with the stories to share with my friends. She said she will make a movie with them too.
I hope it is a cartoon! Yeppie!
I do not see her very much because she goes to many countries. She is writing some special stories for me about all the places she visits to share with my friends. I like this new book, LiTTscapes. It has many pictures. It is a book about people who write stories about Trinidad and Tobago.
When I grow up I will read the books by these people who wrote the stories. Auntie says she can take me to visit some of the places in the pictures in the book too. Maybe, ladies, and gentlemen and children, if you ask her she will take you too! But not if you call her Christopher.
One day I will write stories too. One day I will write a book, like my auntie, and she will be here telling you all about how she helped me learn to read and write.
I hope you like my auntie’s new book – LiTTscapes. I hope you will buy it for your children and for your friends. This will help her make more books for my friends and I and to help other young writers too.
Thank you for the book, and the stories, auntie Krissy-wissy.
Thank you all for listening to my story about my auntie and the stories she writes for ME, and for you, and you, and you too.
Five Year old Saiesh Rampersad introduces his aunti Kris Rmapersad and Five year old talk-drummer Ire Charles of the Chibale Drumming Ensemble also performs at LiTTribute to the Republic hosted by First Lady Jean Ramjohn Richards and Dr Kris Rampersad. Photos by Kenrick Ramjit