Monday, May 31, 2010

Stork Colony


When I was a safari guide, many moons ago, there was a stork colony that we’d drive to and were guaranteed to see great game. Situated on an ox-box lagoon were three or four old gnarled and weatherbeaten ebony and winterthron trees that the squawking nesting storks would make their home for a few months of the year. They’d decorate the place white and play loud music; you could hear them long before you actually bumped across the ox-bow and rounded the corner to the drama of their lives. 

 

The trees were adorned with teeny baby fluffy white storks. And they’d sit atop their trees and squawk and shout and flap their wings. And the parents would wearily go off every morning and fish. And they’d bring the slippery flappy fish for the upturned babies’ beaks. And many would find their mark into the babies’ bottomless tummies but a good many more would slither and fall to the bottom. And every now and then the cute little fluffies would also lose their footing and tumble down.

 

Into?

 

Camera pans down and cue dark scary music.

 

The waiting big toothed jaws of the predators below. There they lurked and circled, waiting for the feeding frenzy. A slippery fish here, a succulent fledgling there, its eagerness to fly outsmarted by its inability to do so. 

 

Crocodiles, hyenas, marabou storks, civets, leopards. Nocturnal and diurnal, airborne, waterborne and land (bourne?). Mammal and reptile. All classifications forgotten.

 

The reason for this rambling narrative? It reminds me of something. Every time I put my daughter in her high chair to feed her the cat gets up from wherever he has been basking and starts circling underneath, waiting for the baby to drop her bits of food. Which she does, most diligently. A twirl of pasta here, a chicken drumstick there. And every day, three times a day on a small hill on the outskirts of a Tanzanian town, they re-enact a suburban version of the Nsefu Stork Colony.

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Picture Window




10 comments:

Rob Inukshuk said...

What a great post. I can see it now, both the frenzy under the trees and the high chair.

spacedlaw said...

Great scene and yes, indeed, babies and cats (or dogs) replay a more civilized version for you every day (except that the cat is not going to eat the baby).

Mud in the City said...

Fabulously descriptive - can just picture it. And how handy for the cat to be cleaning up after the baby!

Angela said...

Our dog does that here for us. No photos needed for your descriptive scenes!!
It`s a wonder that any storks appear here in Northern Germany at all, with all those predators about at your place. Here you are safe, my storkies, come and stay with us! Your nests are high on top of old farm houses, and the frogs are abundant in the meadows!

Janelle said...

heh he...man miranda...am IMPRESSED (considering our conversation yesterday!) mbwahaha....keep suckin' that thumb darlin' XXX j

Shiny said...

Oh, I love it! Clever you writing such a brilliant post and smart cat too... must run in your household xx

Spiny Marshmallow said...

Fab post - loved it - so true as well. Beautifully put together

tam said...

great post Mo. Tell the story about how H nearly shot you?

Miranda said...

Tam - glad you picked upon that! Was surprised no-one else commented on it! Will write a post about it. xx

Spiny - thanks!

Shiny - (shiny, spiny, sheesh!) Yes we are a Very Clever Household!

Janelle - and I with you!

Geli - glad the storks are safe with you! And happy birthday!

Mud - yes, very handy indeed! Except the odd bit of mango that he doesn't want and I tread in all slimy in bare feet!

Spacedlaw - yes, the cat better not eat the baby! Altho i think sometimes he is tempted! A return to days when he was No.1

Rob - thanks!

JoeinVegas said...

Our little dogs always sat under the table, waiting for the kids to miss their mouths.