Ducked off to a game reserve again yesterday. Third time in a month! This time Hluhluwe.
Tom was off ritalin (at his request) and MAN did he talk!! Non-stop for HOURS! I loved it. A running, stream-of-conscious patter of the life and thoughts of TomTom!
A lot of it was about hunting.
Dad, I’ve decided to give fishing a rest for a while, I’m going to do hunting.
Yes, I need a rifle, can I have an M16? and I’m going to hunt kudu.
Actually, Tom, that’s not how it works, fella. You need a licence to shoot a gun, and you need to pass a course before you can go hunting.
When can I start, Dad?
I’ll phone my friend Andre and ask him. He was President of the KZN hunting club at one time.
Will he take me tomorrow?
He starts reading my Smithers mammal book. Looks up kudu and starts learning about them. Amazed that I know a lot of the answers to questions he asks me from the book.
I tell him he needs to start with grasses, then shrubs, then trees, then birds (WHY, Dad? Well, hunters need to know what animals eat, and they need to know what birds are doing as they stalk their prey. The Go-Away bird will shout when it sees you and that will alert the buck, and as you walk past the little warblers will go quiet and the buck will look up to see why. Oh.).
Dad, if I shoot a buck right up its asshole will the bullet come out its mouth?
Just kidding Dad, you know I wouldn’t but I’m jus saying . . . So an anatomy lesson followed about the tortuous route a bullet would have to take to find the mouth if it started at the a-hole.
Dad, is it true you have to eat the liver of the first buck you shoot – raw?
Can I shoot birds with my air rifle?
How do you take the skin off a buck? Do you have to carry the buck home after you’ve shot it?
Dad, what does Nyala taste like? And kudu? And duiker? And wildebeest? Can you eat a warthog? Can you eat lion meat?
Every now and then: I love you Dad! Arsecreeping, see? Possible translation: You don’t really mean Forget it! about the M16, right?
And Jessie? Quietly listening to her music and looking out. She spotted the lion, the rhino, the lone ele, the eagle, a snake in a tree, etc.
She took that lovely pic of the long-tailed Paradise Whydah.