It begins just before dusk, and thanks to the unerring accuracy of sonar night vision, the bombings carry on unabated throughout the night.
Sometimes the bombs are close, and cause damage to cars. Sometimes you are awaken in the middle of the night when one lands on your rooftop.
All night, the screeching of the fighters can be heard as they jockey for position, and then zoom in on their targets some 20 – 30 metres up into the sky.
And, day after day, the weary residents awake to the same sight – destruction of plants and property, and the evidence of the bombings scattered everywhere.
And no sooner has one night’s destruction and devastation been cleared up, when it’s time to take cover again.
You see, it’s just not safe to be outdoors any more after sunset.
Yes, it’s the mango season again in Paradise, and the fruitbats are having a ball, causing countless mangos to fall from the trees. Damaging cars. Scaring the living daylights out of sleeping residents. Breaking plants.
If we are lucky, some mangos won’t be destroyed when they hit the ground, and we can also enjoy the fruits of the fruitbats’ labours.
Throughout the day, the fruitbats circle above, sometimes coming to rest in the same mango trees, or perhaps to have a midday snack.
Apart from the above, the fruitbats are harmless, although their size can sometimes be intimidating. The wingspan of an adult can stretch to over 2 metres.
In years gone by, they were used in stews and curries by the locals, and were quite an island delicacy. Their flesh is pale and not unlike rabbit meat (or so I’m told – I have never actually tasted it). However, since the early 70’s when civilians were prohibited from owning any type of firearm, they are able to fly around and procreate freely. And eat all the mangoes.
One thing I have learned from the fruitbats - mangoes are very good for the digestion and appear to have a Brooklax-type effect. In bright orange.
I suppose we should all feel lucky that island resident cows don’t fly.
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