A View From My Point

Posts tagged ‘wild animals’

A Silly Poem For Arsenic Hour

My darling children, from when you wake up

I take a sip from my steaming cup

Countdown begins to and Hour that will come

the seconds beat within my heart like a drum

the time of the day that I’ve learnt to dread

it makes the blood thunder in my head

Arsenic Hour

No one has power

A time for all Seasons

this Insanity has no reasons

From playing well together at around 3 pm

the crescendo is slow and it builds like REM

it doesn’t start with any particular note

perhaps it’s from one swirling dust mote

“It’s MINE!’ is the most oft repeated refrain

and I’m sure we’ll hear it again

and then it swiftly escalates to a blow

the thump on flesh where a bruise will show

whether you’re knocking each other with soft toys

or fighting about which one belongs to the boys

It’s upon us, this new Hour, we’ve reached Destination

(one that didn’t exist in my previous incarnation)

Through all your screaming and your tears

I’ve realized one of life’s greatest fears:

There is no one else I would pay

to see you this way.

The thin veneer of human I’ve managed to paste

over the crazy animal you are, is not a waste

as Time marches on I know you will learn

the voice that I use can be described as ‘stern’

and your little bums will be on fire

I am a Wooden Spoon for hire

Yes! That’s the anecdote to your poison

‘an eye for an eye’ we can all get our noise on!

My name is Mommy, hear me roar!

Feel my wrath! It’s gonna be sore!

Tuck you in, I will, like a robot be

I want to love you again tomorrow, don’t make me count to three.


The Big Five

My Mother is the Eldest of five (5) children. They grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape living the life of wild creatures, amongst the more domesticated cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, horses, dogs and cats. My Ouma (Grandmother) was an only child and I’m sure that to compensate for her loneliness (which she must have been since her parents wouldn’t have had the access to all the cool extra mural activities and social opportunities that single children do these days) she felt obliged to breed herself enough people to never be lonely again. And I suppose like all of us Moms she must have realised her mistake and subsequently under the guise of a decent education she got shot of them one by one by sending them off to Boarding School. That and the 40km commute twice a day wouldn’t have been great for the oxen and wagon.

And so scattered to the wind these five siblings grew up apart and saw each other on high days and holidays, cultivating for themselves relationships built in the headiness of relaxation. It’s still like that today, even though the Matriarch that was my Ouma passed away some years ago, these five no- longer- children get together and have a really good time. A time of laughing, horseplay and connecting much better with each other than most people with siblings ever do.

It’s something to envisage and even more of a blessing to endure. There are off colour jokes for every occassion – even more so now the older they get and become less inhibited by what other people might think. When one is in their company for an evening you wake up the next morning with aching belly and facial muscles from all the giggling (and food, there’s always a lot of very good food). There are wrestling matches and tickle fights – something you don’t want to get involved in and make yourself very scarce from if you see one brewing, unless- you’re into that kind of thing. The whole fun of it being that they each weigh about 100 kgs. Making them half a ton and a city pavement wide if they’re walking abreast and so they adopted for themselves the term – The Big Five.

Those of you that are au fait with your African Safari terminology will recognize the similarities. The Big Five are at the top of their respective food chains and a feature on many Bucket Lists all around the world. The Elephant, The Rhinoceros, The Lion, The Leopard and The Buffalo – not necessarily in that order, my Mother and each of her siblings represents one of them. They didn’t have to argue about who was who, very diplomatically the names were written down and placed in a hat and each was allowed to draw their lot. And they wear these labels with a pride – who wouldn’t want to be equated with any of  these glorious beasts?

I see the Internet calls the real five animals the “Famous” Big Five. My Mother and her siblings much more modestly are simply The Big Five – they have printed t-shirts, sweaters, bumper stickers, glasses, mugs and peak caps to prove it. They frequent sleepy sea side towns in the years that Christmas isn’t  celebrated at one of their homes (every second year there is a Christmas Tribal Gathering)  and they take the place by the horns – loud and laughing their socks off, they always make a lasting impression.

If you encounter them, ask them for their autographs and  you can tick them off your Bucket List.

Keep Your Face Out Of The Cheetah/Crocodile/Dog

We grew up with animals/pets and they often make appearances in my mental meanderings but one thing that I think about quite often is my Sister and her penchant for being bitten by dogs, well mostly dogs. The other injuries that she has had that I can think of were either self or sibling inflicted but in our defense she did seem somewhat of a glutton for the kind of attention that gets you an anti Rabies shot and some stitches.  Having offspring of my own now and living on an Island that consists mostly of people compensating for their Empty Nest Syndrome by having one or more canines to keep them company in their dotage has made me more than once utter the words I heard fall from my Mother’s lips “Don’t put your face in the dog!’ – it must have helped a lot because the Sister of mine has only every been bitten by a dog six times – not the same dog mind you – always a different dog. And there are a lot more people than dogs out there in the world – I think that was pretty good going for my Mother.

My Father brought his own pets into the marriage, two Welsh Corgi’s (something to with being a fan of the British Royal Family) They were both pedigrees with papers to match and were named Humphrey and Bogie – Bogie was the epitome of the Welsh Corgi, with all the right markings from his ‘fairy harness’ down to his short stubby docked little tail. Humphrey on the other hand was pure Brak (mongrel) – longer legs, scraggly fur and a face like the Tramp from Lady and The Tramp. He lived a good 22 human years and is remembered fondly. Bogie, not so much, he used to eat our wax crayons and when we lived in tropical climes every afternoon around four when the storms would start to build he’d dissolve into a nervous puddle of panting drool, stinking it up under a bunk bed more often than not.  Because he was a lot lower to the ground my Sister liked to ride him like a pony – needless to say she was snapped at and had to spend a week in an oxygen tent (for croup – that she had at the same time – not because of some strange over reaction on the Mothers part) and have plastic surgery on her lip to mend the little nick – I surmise to this day that is the reason she’s considered prettier than me. And that was the first time – maybe a Dog is her totem animal? And so they keep wanting to bring her back into the pack as it were.

The other holiday we were travelling together, Auntie Sister and I, with my two wee ones, regaling them with stories of our idyllic youth and how awesome it was to grow up together – you know how one makes it seem really awesome to sucker the kids into growing up and leaving home and lying to their own kids . Going through a town famous for it’s Crocodile and Ostrich Farm. There are posters on all the street lights proclaiming these one on one encounters with Cheetahs and Warthogs and a Hippopotamus. To illustrate their point as and as a sales gimmick there are full colour photographs of little children and yummy mummies cuddling with these creatures as if they let them sleep in their beds at night! Sending myself into paroxysms of paranoia at the thought that some one’s mother let them pose with these WILD ANIMALS – I wonder if they all got away unscathed or if that ad campaign has a couple of literal skeletons in their closet. So now, when we speak to the kids of animals that they might encounter we hold up Auntie Sister as an example and in a firm voice say, ‘Keep Your Face Out Of The Cheetah/Crocodile/Dog.’

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