to hold a living creature,
to learn its loveliness,
to feel its heart beat in your hands,
to know its trust, is to rejoice in life
These are stories of my encounters with animals, domestic and wild. The wild animals I have been lucky to encounter have been wonderful and exciting, and have taken place over many years, in different locations. There are stories of our menagerie of pets, loved members of the family. Then there are stories are of injured animals or babies that have been orphaned on the farm, or surrounds, that I have been privileged to adopt and raise. I’ve fallen in love with every one, and learned so much along the way. It has been a wonderful adventure.
Others are a collection of beasties who invade our territory, terrifying me and some others out of their minds. These we call “goggas” (a very guttural sounding word). That’s putting it nicely!
I started writing the stories for friends, and decided to compile them into a little book for my Grandchildren, and possibly nieces and nephews. I never realized there were so many stories! I’m so glad I’ve done this. Some stories are old, and to the best of my recollection; and others are new, from my life living at Buckingham.
My love for animals came from my Granny Pet. She was First Lady of Monkey Fountain Zoo, in Ndola, Zambia. We had a menagerie of pets at home, and the wild animals at the zoo were fascinating. I got to look after some of these zoo animals sometimes.
Hubby and I, and our 3 sons, spent many weekends and holidays in the Kruger National Park watching and learning about our wildlife. Those were wonderful days and nights. We’ve been to a few other parks in South Africa and enjoyed all of them.
My absolutely favourite animal is the elephant. I have had a few encounters with these beautiful beings, and loved each one. Elephants are huge and awe-inspiring, but I’m not scared of them at all; just hugely respectful and enchanted. If I had the chance to live my life over again, I’d probably be a zoologist or animal behaviourist and work with animals all the time.
When Noel and Allison Badrian, my uncle and aunt, worked in the Congo with Bonobo’s, or pygmy chimpanzees, I begged my dad to let me go and join them. I wish, in some ways, I’d been more bratty or insistent!
So, here are some of the stories in my book, I hope you enjoy them.
My Stories: Click on the title to read
The Wild Bunch:
There Be Dragons
Slitherin’ Snakes Alive!
Close encounters of the pet kind: The Insane Animal Asylum
Dogs are not our whole lives;
but they make our lives whole
The Scratching Post
If there were to be a universal sound denoting peace,
I would vote for the purr
Flights of Fancy
Common Duiker – (Sylvicapra Grimmia): Zakumi and Bigwig
There are so many more stories that I will add now and then.