My Interview with a Capybara

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Alicia Chamely
By Alicia Chamely

ON Wednesday morning Armando Cedeno Santo Carlito, a Venezuelan-born Capybara, led a harrowing chase through the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain.

Questions about who this capybara is, where he came from and how he ended up in the city have been largely unanswered… until now.

Sitting down in an exclusive interview with me for AZP News, Santo Carlito shared his story.

 “Yeah, so firstly I just wanna clarify dat while I was born in Venezuela, I is a Trini. Red, white, and black! Yuh hear me speaking any Spanish?

“Listen back when I was pup, Mami pelt me on she back with my brothers and sisters, hop on some debris coming out de Orinoco, and make she way to Trinidad. What happened was meh Papi got ‘culled’ which is a nice way of saying de man got shot dead. Apparently, us Capybara is an invasive species, dat does breed too much and mash up de environment. That sounding like another species to you..*cough* HUMANS *cough*. Mami say not she and dem hunters and she buss it.

“We land in Trinidad in some nice swamp land just behind de landfill, plenty food and ting. In de evening I would go into the landfill and lime wit meh partner Skegs. Skegs is meh boy, he calls himself a Beetham terrier, but Mami say doh get fooled he is a stink old pothound and we have no business liming. So Skegs and I hadda lime on de low.

“Let me tell you we had fun yes. Just conquering dat landfill, every food box we getting into… but oh gosh man humans allyuh could leave a lil meat on de bones for your fellas.

“One-night Skegs and I liming in de landfill, and he start to talk about his aunty, neighbour’s, friends, cousin. A man named Brownie, head of the Mixed Breed Association of T&T. Brother man, this fella is a legend, just this year he shut down the airport, pardner.

“Brownie, living de life. Thinking big, doing big tings. And we start to look at our own lives and we get real bummy. So, we make a plan, we going in de city and making it we own, just like Brownie.

“Next night Skegs meet me down by the swamp and we travel down to Sea Lots and across de road into South Quay. Eh! You should see us oui! Moving like two ninjas!

“So now we in de city and let me tell you we having a time, passing every bar, licking up spill rum, bussing every garbage bag we see. Meh head was feeling nice, I rubbing up on every store window, Skegs teach meh how to bark, so I only barking behind people.

“Best night of meh life, until we meet uncle on de Promenade. This old man watch me and Skegs and say ‘Eh, allyuh puppies want a lil fire water’. Dis man just call me a pup inno? I is a man, so when he pour dat clear liquid in he hands I buss it up.

“Breds, worst decision of my life. Next ting you know, Skegs and I wake up under a bench on the Promenade, and is people everywhere. Dey aint watching Skegs, dey watching me. I just run pardner. Ah set a man come to chase me, some clown bounce me wit his car, and I get so confused I run straight into a door.

“Now I hear de papers say I was looking dazed and confused. Yuh tink! I was drinking all night, I wake up feeling more mash-up dan the PDP in Tobago. Dem saying I was looking sweaty! Wam dred allyuh never hear of de rum sweats!

“Anyway when dem fellas ketch me and start tying me up, I only thinking dis is it! Papi I coming to see yuh! Boy I pray to Jesus, Lord Krishna, Allah, Jehovah, Brownie, everybody. But one of dem answered and I aint end up in no pot.

“So now I skinning out in El Socorro and things is nice. I tell Mami where I am, she vex but she coming to join meh. Skegs get ketch too, he doing some time at the TTSPCA, but I think he will do good. I met a nice tick thing named Fabiola, might marry she one day. All in all, tings work out. But I learn meh lesson yes, life better in de swamp and doh drink nutting called fire water out of an old man hand.”


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