Global warming, is it really a myth?
The aging stacks of peat standing next to the stone wall of the single roomed cottage, seemed to lean sadly into themselves a little more each day, now lifeless and unrequired.
Although the changes had been imperceptible, Moira was unable to deal with her inner confusion of the changes she had to make to her long established daily routines. Following the patterns of both her mother and grandmother, she was frustrated not to be able to pass these seemingly normal, practical things, onto her daughter and even worse, the auburn haired little girl that loved to run in and out of the long skirts that her grandmother wore, not noticing the heat and discomfort that they made the old lady endure most days.
“Mammy, mammy!” a voice flew out from inside.
“What now Siobhan, I can’t be doing any more things today.”
“No mammy, it’s Aiden, he’s going to some awful shaking! Quickly quickly!”
Moira pulled away the young girl who was hanging onto her leg and fluffed down the petticoats and heavy skirts which had been hoisted over her thighs to let some air in.
“Away with you young ‘un, take that awful puss and play somewhere else. I’ve things to do.”
The girl just stared on as the dark folds swished through the narrow entrance, brushing noisily against the rough stone.
“Bejabers girl, what are you doin’, away wid ya, let me look at the little mite.”
She leant into the wooden crib and pressed her hand onto Aiden’s chest, you didn’t need to feel the shaking, it was plain to see. The cold dampness of his thin clothing didn’t suit the high temperature of his body. She looked up and Siobhan, knew it wasn’t good news.
“Go girl, fetch Dr. Byrne, tell him it’s the jungle fever again.”
They all knew the consequences of a slow response to the diagnosis but spoke nothing of it. The young mother was out of the cottage and running down the dusty track, her other child watching her kick up the dust. In her haste she even risked the shorter path past the one of the few remaining pools of water in the area but had to swat away the large aggressive mosquitoes in doing so. Her fear for her small son was greater than the fear for any recurrence of her own terrible symptoms.
Over the centuries, the wild spaces of rural Kerry had never been somewhere you would call, tropical, but this was no equatorial fantasy. Siobhan slapped another bite on her sweat beaded neck and pushed onto the doctor’s house on the other side of the once rich, productive peat fields, now just grey ghostly mounds of dry detritus.
© David Rollason March 2018