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February 19, 2024

Tales From Africa: A Lesson In Brevity

By KK Brown

Good Folks,

I once attempted to enter a contest for aspiring authors, the wordy content of which was limited to thirty words. A verbose old Rhodesian such as myself is, clearly, at a serious disadvantage in these circumstances, but there is an old (African) saying, which states (loosely translated) that 'If a Boer can make a plan, then a Rhodesian can make a better one'. And so, in this spirit of adventure, I sallied bravely into the fray.

My working paper was as follows:

My Subject today is wild animals: in Africa.

Whilst it has never been my normal practice to allow my thought process to be limited to a specific number of written words, I have (upon the advice of that good lady to whom I have had the privilege of being married for some thirty-five years) decided -- against my better judgement -- to offer my small contribution in the hope that it may, within the greater picture of wild animal conservation (in the African context, at least), ensure that my children -- and their children after them, may enjoy the enormous benefits of an healthy exterior environment to which few people (outside Africa) may even aspire.

Despite my love of nature, I have never been an overly enthusiastic supporter of the 'bunny-hugging' fraternity, for I find that they generally tend to 'waffle'. And, with all the best will in the world, surely, you must confess this to be the truth? It is of small importance about what they waffle, but it become ever more tiresome when they rabbit on about such totally unimportant matters as 'generic alternatives', non-genetically engineered crops and the required total absence of any sort of unnatural fertilisers.

At this point in the exercise, I realised that I was running quite seriously short of the words that would be required to convey the conservation message which I believe most desperately needs to be displayed to those who manage to survive outside of Africa's borders.

And that is this:

Pay no further concern to the campaign dedicated to Save the African white rhino. Spend not another penny upon it! The bloody useless animal is in absolutely no danger from extinction. It carelessly, and heartlessly, tramples upon far more people than there are poachers whose stolen guns seek to shorten its miserable and destructive existence !

Also, who, in their right mind, would ever want to save the elephants , considering how much damage they cause to the natural habitat, and the enormous piles of shit they leave all over the roads upon which we are supposed to drive our motor cars?

This piece must, regrettably, remain unsigned. (KK's body has, in the interests of cleanliness, been removed after he was gored by a white rhino, and subsequently repeatedly trodden upon by a Jumbo in the Kruger National Park. Fortunately, after the necessary inoculations and extended expert veterninary care, the condition of both animals appears to be improving .)

Article © KK Brown. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-08-14
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