Category: animals

Fuck the patriarchy

So I’m the kind of feminist who always stands up for women but also thinks men sometimes get a raw deal and maybe we should be gentler on them, maybe they’re just insecure and yeah, we shouldn’t really blame them for all our problems.

But fuck that.

They are to blame for everything and I know this because I have witnessed it first hand.

It was a balmy evening, 01 December 2016. Kruger National Park. We were sitting having a glass of wine in the hot African bush when suddenly, screaming.

Get in, get in, yelled the game ranger, hurtling us into the jeep. We scrambled in. And there, just around the corner, was a lioness bringing down a buffalo.

The lioness was fierce, the buffalo enormous.  She tackled him head on, pulling him down with her mighty paws. He fought, he kicked, he got up again, she leapt on his back, sunk her mouth around his neck, dragged him down, he lashed out, she climbed in, dust everywhere, the screams, the growls, the fight, the cries, the gasps, the roars, it was pretty bloody  violent.

She held on to him. Kept her mouth around his neck and stayed put. Our ranger explained that lions kill buffalo by suffocating them. He was on the ground, kicking and screaming, she was steadfast in her smothering.

‘This is going to take a long time’, the ranger explained. ‘This lioness does not have any canines.’

‘What, why?’ we all asked.

He explained. ‘Her teeth were knocked out when she got into a fight with a male lion. Boom bang, he knocked them out with one huge swoop.’

As he said that, the male lion, who had been nowhere in sight, suddenly wandered into the scene. Slowly, surely, padding his way out of the bush with a huge magnificent mane and a glint in his eyes.

The buffalo still fought and kicked.  The lioness still smothered.

And the male lion  watched. He did a bit of smelling, gave the buffalo a few pre-dinner licks, a couple of self satisfied roars, and then, settled back on to the most comfortable of rocks to watch dinner being prepared.

The buffalo took a long time to die. The lioness took a long time to kill him. And once he was dead, the male sauntered over. Pushed the lioness out the way.

And got stuck in.

Delicious, fabulous, fresh buffalo meat, killed by the very woman whose teeth he had knocked out.

It’s like real life.   I am so with the lioness, who I imagine was not that happy with just the leftovers.

Fuck the patriarchy. It’s time to support 16 Days of Activism. And more.

lions
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

http://www.africaonfoot.com – for excellent game sightings!

Monday

This morning I woke up in an inexplicably good mood
Found lots of granadillas in full bloom on my tree
Walked around the hood listening to Carole King
Said hi to a gorgeous bullmastiff puppy
Said hi to his owner too
The barista gave me a free coffee
A woman complimented me on my dress
I wrote this love poem
And sometimes
you just know
it’s going to be a fabulous day

Good morning!

puppy

Give that girl a Bells

I’ve written about my dog Scarlet before, the mad one who likes to swim. Yesterday we had another drama.

I was with her for a run and a swim at 9 am.  Around 5 pm  I wrote this post on a community Facebook page.

At the park today my dog Scarlet went swimming. She’s done it before, goes in for an hour, gets into a zone, doesn’t hear anyone or anything and won’t come out. Today she swam and swam, went into the reeds and disappeared. I looked everywhere. No Scarlet. After a few hours I came home, frantic, sunburned, exhausted, told my kids the bad news, dropped off my other dogs, and went back. And there I found a woman, Karin VDL, covered in mud and gunk, with my dog. She had found her. RESCUED HER. Karin had gone into the water. Other people helped. Hippies, parents, children, picnickers, dog lovers, grannies and grandpas. And other dogs. Everyone was rooting for her. I cannot say thank you enough, thank you thank you thank you.’

The response from the community was astonishing. Everyone so glad my dog was okay, everyone supportive. She’d been found, brilliantly camouflaged, stuck in the reeds on an island in the middle of the dam.  Exhausted.  Hot.  Alive.

Karin is getting a bottle of whisky from me tomorrow, as well as a huge bunch of flowers and the biggest hug. The community pulled together in the most extraordinary way, and I just gotta say, I felt overwhelmed.  Some stripped down and tried to swim to her.  It’s a tricky dam to swim in. Others had tried to coax her back. Karin eventually reached her.

And one man had managed to photograph her and put her pic on social media.

Astonishing group effort and people are so kind.

BUT NONE OF THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING, although I will be forever grateful to all these people.

My dog is a celebrity. Her Facebook post has had thousands of likes. Her photograph and her story have been shared so many times.

My dog is more popular than me.

That is it.

My dog is more popular than me.

And I am very very happy about it.

We’re on the bed and she’s asleep at my feet and now the only thing I want is to fall in love with one of the gorgeous men who shared her picture.

There were quite a few.

Thanks Karen.  Thanks Guys.

Vote for Scarlet.  She’s entering a beauty pageant next week.

scar

 

 

 

Scarlet

My dog Scarlet is thirteen. I walk her almost daily at Emmarentia Dam and she’s always a little nervous and a lot unpredictable.

Odd, my friends call her.

Intriguing is what I say.

She never goes near the water. And lately her arthritis has been really bad, leaving me to wonder how much longer she has.

Today we went walking with friends.

And for some insane, crazy, who knows why and I’ll never get it reason, Scarlet plunged head first into the water.

Whoosh splash, she was gone.

Surrounded by ducks, geese and a huge body of cool sparkling water.

It was fabulous, this dog who has never swum before. Whichever way the ducks went, she went too.  Swimming like a pro dog Olympic doggy paddle champion of the world.

Unbelievable. Hilarious. Brilliant.

Until we realised she wasn’t coming back.

We were standing on the edge, yelling for her. And she never once turned to look at us. She was a dog on a mission.

Except this old dog was getting deeper, further and more and more distant.

I panicked. She would have a heart attack. She was going to drown. She would disappear under the water and that would be the end.

There was no-one around to help.

‘You’ve gotta go in, Violet,’ said my friend. ‘Go. Go.’

I was hesitant. I’m not a strong swimmer.

But I threw off my clothes. And I plunged in too.  It was warm and delicious, except I wasn’t feeling warm or delicious. I was terrified.

I didn’t get anywhere close. She swam left, she swam right, she ducked, she dived, she became one of the bloody ducks.

And she ignored me completely.

I had to turn back or I would’ve got into trouble.

It had been an hour. We yelled some more, one of us naked, one not. And then I threw my clothes back on and ran for help.

I found a couple of cyclists who under normal circumstances I may have flirted with, except I hate cyclists.  Now, tears streaming down my face,  I begged them to rescue my dog.

Except she did not want to be rescued. She was having the swim of her life.

And then, just like that, TWO HOURS LATER, she swam in. Shook herself off, grinned, I swear she grinned, jumped into my arms, licked me all over and we went back home.

I thought she would die from exhaustion in the afternoon. I thought her heart would just stop beating while she slept.

She hasn’t died. She doesn’t even seem tired. She’s happy and content and clearly has a doggy bucket list of things she wants to do.

I’m the one who’s shattered.

But if I think about it, it was very nice skinny dipping in Johannesburg.

And so we’re planning another activity.

Today the ducks in Emmarentia, tomorrow the dolphins in Mozambique.  Who knows what adventure awaits.

Scarlet.  She is an intriguing dog.

  • with thanks to Lesley Cowling for the doggie bucket list inspiration.

dogs