When I was a little girl I had a friend called Jake.
Sometimes we’d go shooting guineafowl, or just head off behind the pan, lean up against a warm red termite mound and do some good old target practice. He likes his guns does our Jake. I marveled at his homemade gun rack in his little wooden-upstairs house, all the guns standing to tired attention like soldiers. The whitewashed walls of his little cowboy house, set on the banks of the hungry Luangwa, with pictures of injuns and piebald horses. Strips of leather here and there. I was amazed at his handwriting, how small and neat. He gave
me a pair of cowboy boots. I wore them through. And that pink little knife I'd wear around my neck. Remember my pink knife?
One day Jake came to the ruins and said to me ‘lets go for a bike ride to the island’. So we set off, Jake with his pump action shotgun in a homemade leather sheath strapped to the side of his bike, me on my Suzuki 185 that I’d painted black with an 80’s shocking pink stripe (cringe). So we set off across the dambo and into the ebony trees on the other side, under the winterthorns that catch the light in that magical way.
And in a little clearing we saw a fresh giraffe carcass. All noble and dignified and… well… dead. So we stopped, propped our bikes up on their stands and studied this creature, all teenager-esque gangly legs and loose skin. Jake pulled out his knife and started skinning it. As you do.
‘I wonder what giraffe tastes like’ he said
‘Pretty good’ I said, gnawing on a bit of rubbery nyama.
So we skinned the giraffe’s legs and they made a most excellent pair of trousers. They fit perfectly. I pasted them onto my legs, and strutted around the clearing proudly, I know the fashion houses of Paris and Milan would have been jealous of those trousers. They were a little sticky and pretty heavy but for a brief moment I was Queen of
And we hopped back on our bikes with my new trousers slung over the handlebars and when we got back to the ruins we hung them up in the old sausage tree to dry.