December 30, 1996
Hi, my name is Caville Tarrant and this is my story. I am a single mother of two boys, ages 11 and 3. In 1984 I dropped out of school to care for my aging grandparents; I have been trying to get back to school since 1993.
At the age of 29 1 realized if I was to make any sort of life for myself and my kids I would have to become more educated before it was too late. In 1996, at the FFAW Learning Center in Durrell, I attended an ABE class and completed Level Two.
I grew up on Fogo Island and had two loving parents. They raised eight children besides me. I had a very happy childhood with lots of friends and good times. I was bit of a handful to my father and mother who had more than one child to chase.
Many times my father would come looking for me. He could usually find me on the beach or near the water. As a child I loved the water. It's a wonder I wasn't drowned.
My father always told me one day I would have children of my own and would know what it is like to worry. I now know he was right and understand how he felt back then. Whenever I see one of my kids near the water, I can see my father chasing me with a frightened look on his face. Now it's my turn to be scared.
I try not to be too hard on them because I remember I was once in their shoes. I want my children to be all they can be. But I have to set a good example by finishing my education and making a better future for us.
Christmas in Newfoundland is so much fun.
It's hard for me to remember only one.
I'm going to remember one, so you all can see.
This one's about Grandma, Grandpa and me.
Grandpa with his pipe, Grandma In her chair.
We were all sitting around without even a care.
Then out on the porch there was a loud bang.
I got scared, and upstairs I ran.
Grandpa got up with a wink and a grin.
He went to the door, to see who wanted in.
And who should it be, mummers, oh
mummers for us to see.
I peeked from the stairs as quiet as a mouse.
That's when they all came into the house.
There were big ones and small ones, fat ones and thin.
And grandpa just stood there with his toothless grin.
One had an accordion, another had the rum.
They were all there for some good old Newfoundland fun.
The dancing began, the singing did too.
What was a child of ten to do.
Well downthe stairs I crept. So no one could see,
I hid behind the Christmas tree.
But Grandma, she saw me, and pulled me right out,
to see all of them mummers that were scattered about.
Oh! They were so funny, so funny to see.
With boots on their hands and mitts on their feet.
They danced up a storm that made the floor boards bend.
Even Grandma joined in to a Newfoundland Jigg.
When it was all over and they were ready to leave.
They all turned around and looked at me.
Now remember they said, remember my son,
a Christmas without mummers isn't very much fun.
Always let them in every year when they come.
And you will see what fun a mummer's Christmas can be,
for any old Newfie.
Now that I'm older with kids of my own.
I always tell them the story of when I was young.
And when a loud bang at Christmas time comes,
I know it's the mummers, back for some more old Newfoundland fun.