Sunday, November 23, 2008
Babe in the woods
My mother got a phone call the other morning from Abraham saying “Miranda, Pam, we have a baby nkuku here please come and get it!” A nkuku is a chicken, so my mother was thinking, okaaaay, that’s weird. Oh well, I’ll go up and see what’s going on. Turns out it is not a nkuku it’s a PUKU. A darling gorgeous antelope that’s not found in many places in Africa.
This morning we heard a commotion in the bush out across the dambo. Elephants trumpeting and going crazy all morning. And then a few hours later this teeny tiny wobbly-legged puku came tottering across the dambo. Could be that there were lions across there that killed its mother.
So if you know me or if you’ve read this post you’ll know that I have had my fair share (and then some) rearing baby animals. And somewhere buried in the dark cobwebby recesses of my storeroom is a biscuit tin full of baby bottles, special teats, syringes, droppers and all sorts of baby feeding paraphernalia – ranging from stuff for the smallest mouse in the whole wide world (which occur here – the babies are the size of fat ticks!) to birds, to antelope to leopards to elephants.
So. Out came the trusty box, on went the water to boil, out came the milk to warm up in went the feeding kit to sterilize. My mother and I laughing all the while at how many times we had done this. The up every few hours in the night for feeding, the trying really hard not to get too attached for the first few days until the danger period is over. How many times our ragged hearts have broken over these small creatures.
So it has imprinted on us, following us around, has found a small little nookie in my mother’s kitchen where it likes to sleep. My mother has been renovating and the floor is out but that’s good because at least it is rough and it doesn’t slip and slide on the shiny cement floor. Although a worry is that there is no gauze on the windows yet and a leopard might jump in and steal it. I hope not!
Anyway, so there you are. Our excitement for the day. For the next few days. Hopefully for the next few years….