Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Three Pigs

I hardly ever go out at night, being a stay-at-home person out of necessity, not want, since I don't have any transport other than my two very trusty legs. Unfortunately, its not safe walking around outside at night on your own when you're a single girl and so I have to be satisfied with the very occasional outing once a month or even less.

Last night, however, I threw caution to the wind and trotted off in a red and black outfit and nearly caused a crash at an intersection I was crossing when a driver was too busy looking at me and not paying enough attention to his runaway car, which was heading straight for a lamp post and the pavement. I trotted on, chuckling all the while, and wondering why it was that being dressed in a long, flowing black skirt with a red sequined top caused so much of a stir. Certainly isn't my looks, I can assure you! Perhaps it is the fact that nobody around here actually dresses like that anymore. I mean, most young girls go out dressed in what they consider groovy outfits of too-tight denims and slinky tops, whereas I wouldn't be seen dead in something like that and prefer to wear a long skirt (hiding the legs and thighs nicely, hahaha!) and a pretty shirt or jacket.
Something so out of the ordinary, it seems, that it caused a great deal of strange looks to come my way. I didn't care, though, I was FINALLY going out somewhere!!

I got to the Theatre, bought my ticket and settled down with a Spin to await the time when I could go and find my seat and watch the show. I was all in a jig about it because I do love watching plays and pantomines and things of that sort, its much more amusing to me than going to the movies or renting a dvd.

At last the music started up and the play began. I held my breath waiting for what was to come next. And onto the stage walked a very large Mrs. Rabbit! I had to stifle a giggle at the sight of those funny ears...nearly collapsed when she pulled out a HUGE rolled up cigar and insisted she have a smoke break, while telling the audience all the while that she wasn't going to light it, of course, it was just the idea of having a smoke break which calmed her rattled nerves. She then regaled us with a story of how the Messrs. Pig kept her so occupied and how she never got any peace with them about. And then she told us about how there was this new architecht who was designing a new house for the three Pigs because the one they stayed in at present wasn't large enough to keep them all. And she mentioned how nice and kind and very charming the architecht laddie was and how he could put his pencil under her drawing board any day. This got uproarious laughter from the audience and this was the cue for her to titter and then tell us about her lovely children but how there were too many of them and so on.
Then off she went and we got an introduction to our Three Pigs. And my, but they were absolutely HILARIOUS! First, there was Plantagenet Pig. He is quite a stuffy sort, always dressed immaculately and speaking very proper! Then there is Percy. He's always wearing white, is very concerned about hygiene and pretty much lives on cosmetics and washes his clothes three times a day. And lastly there is Patrick. He is just too funny for words, total beach bum, walks around in board shorts and loose shirt all day and lives off junk food and surfing. Very laid back and not worried about a thing, calls his home his "possie". To be honest, I developed an instant liking for old the way, did I mention he screams like a girl? Ah...missed that one. He does, though, and it is enough to just make you die laughing!!

Then we were introduced to the architecht and the two fairies that go everywhere on the set, and then also to Mr. Wolf and Mr. Weasel. Mr. Weasel is always drooling and Mr. Wolf is always hungry. These two make such a strange pair and yet it would be impossible to have the one without the other. They try to entice Mrs. Rabbit's little ones with carrots and hot dogs but then Weasel ruins it all by dribbling and pulling out a cleaver from behind his back! Then he tries to mend things by saying the bunnies can get two hotdogs for the price of one but its too late, they've run off. Mr. Wolf then starts ranting and raving and crying and whining and eventually turns on Weasel and yells "It's all your fault! You couldn't sell beer to an Ozzie in the outback!" and off they go, amidst shouts and hoots of laughter from the audience. By this stage I was swiping at the tears streaming down my cheeks for I just couldn't stop laughing. And it had only just begun!!!

I shall skip over the next few scenes, you all probably know the story of the three pigs and how they each go off to build their own house. Well, Percy built a house from perspex, Patrick a house of bamboo and Plantagenet a house of bricks (obviously). then they each installed a telkom telephone (remember the telkom telephone, oh best beloved) and we're onto the next scene.

Wolf and Weasel are crying from hunger. They decide to trap Percy. They knock on his door and call softly (trying the subtle approach) and then more loudly until Percy comes and asks them what they want. Clever (or not) Weasel says they would just like to ask for a cup of sugar. Percy looks surprised and says but he doesn't have more than a little sugar cos he prefers sweeteners. So Weasel says, well then, half a cup will do just fine. So off Percy goes to get a half a cup of sugar and comes back. When he opens the door and steps out Wolf and Weasel jump him...or try to. Percy falls to the ground and Weasel and Wolf end up bumping heads. Then Percy is off back into the house and shuts the door in the enraged faces of his persuers. He then (while Wolf and Weasel build a fire) picks up his telkom telephone and calls the help line. After battling with the operator (a feeling we all know SO WELL) he finally gets put through to his brother Patrick. After explaining he is told to hurry and get out of there as quickly as he can and to run as fast as he can to brother Patrick. Which he does in due course. But first, let me add here that at this point in the play, Wolf tries to huff and puff and blow the house down. Only in the beginning he doesn't get it right because he doesn't have enough air, so he hauls out this little inhaler/asthma pump and takes deep breaths from it and then tries again. When the house falls over, they charge poor old Percy who lets out a high pitched scream and sprays Wolf in the eye with pepper spray and then runs away into the audience, screaming like a girl all the way. Oh my....hang on while I finish laughing...this is just hilarious, the memories! I wish I could videotape it and put it up as a video clip on my blog because its something you just have to see to appreciate!

Right....where was I? Oh yes, whilst Percy is running away from Wolf and Weasel, the audience is going mad with laughter and shouting boo to Wolf and Weasel as they pass by. Finally, after spraying Wolf one last time with the pepper spray, Percy is safe inside the house with Patrick. Next follows a hilarious dialogue between Wolf and Weasel about who should huff and puff next. Meanwhile, Patrick is trying to get hold of Plantagenet but the telkom helpline accidently (oh really?) puts him through to Watsons' Butchery where they advertise pork chops for half price and ham slices on special.
With a horrified shriek Patrick gets the operator back on the line. She apologises profusely and tries to put him through again, this time with more success.
Partick hurriedly explains their nasty situation and Plantagenet urges them to hurry over, just as Wolf and Weasel get ready to blow the house down.
Percy and Patrick each arm themselves with a pie (for the old pie-in-the-face trick) and as the house topples over, they dash out and in passing ram their pies into the faces of their attackers. The audience is by this time hysterical with laughter and amidst shrieks from Patrick and screams from Percy, a chase ensues. Eventually they get away after running through the audience and with all the audience screaming and booing and shouting and making such a racous that the cast couldn't even be heard! What a laugh!

Oh my, have I really written this much already? I think I better stop here...but wait, I need to end with the grand finale...

Mr Wolf tries to break into Plantagenet's house and in the process he loses his tail, and then before he can escape the police pitch up and he and Weasel are led away in handcuffs to await trial.
And in the end, the three Pigs once again employ the help of the architect and this time they build a house with three parts. And this satisfies them all and they then have a housewarming party. To which a certain Miss Piggy is invited, along with Kermit the Frog!

The end.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Friend

I dedicate this poem to you, my friend
Before your life began, it reached its end
I didn't know you all that well, yet still
Thinking of you, tears down my cheeks did spill

Bravely you fought this long battle hard
Gave not up even when dealt this harsh card
Your faith remained right until the very end
I've learnt such lessons from you, my friend

To fight even when life gets you low
To carry on, to win the race we know
Such rewards are they that wait on all
Who open their eyes, who hear the Call

Thank you, friend, for your great example
And although your life was but a small sample
Of that which it could well have been
Your battles and victories went not unseen

So I dedicate this poem to you, my friend
Before your life began it reached its end
You'll be remembered and loved forevermore
We'll see you again...that's for sure!

Monday, November 06, 2006

To Farm or Not to Farm Part 2

My mom named the chicken Big Hen because she was so big and to this day we still remember her as Big Hen. The name just stuck.
she gave us eggs quite regularly as long as she was in the mood to lay and we kept her fed fat. Eventually she became very tame.
what did we get out of this? I got the job of feeding and watering her and my sister got a few cracked ribs from her fall. The few eggs weren't quite compensation for the trouble she had but we decided to wipe the slate clean when Big Hen gave us Cheep.

Cheep was the only chick that hatched out of a batch of ten eggs. At first the gg didn't want to break open properly and so we had to help the little chick out of her prison. After which Big Hen decided that it wasn't her baby and why should she look after it? So we had to raise Cheep ourselves. No easy task!

During the day she would snuggle up with whoever got to her first in the mornings. Sometimes she would snuggle deep down inside my rollneck sweater, next to my neck. At nights she would sleep on a hot water bottle inside a box. We had to change the bottle at least once throughout the night. Through the next few months Cheep became a favourite with everyone, including all our other pets and any visitors who popped by. She had a way of behaving more like a cat or a dog than a chicken and most of the time we could forget that she was a chicken.

One day she laid her first egg. What a surprise it was for poor Cheep!
AAAAH! Where did that come from??
Its an egg, silly, you laid it!
Are you sure?
Yes, I'm sure.
Oh, well I guess that's okay then.

After that she just called us to tell us she had laid an egg and it was waiting to be picked up and then she was off on her foraging again.
Two months later she died mysteriously and we really missed her a lot. She was also the last chick that we ever fact, she was the last chick point.

The reason for this was that we had to get rid of our rooster. His name was Speckles and he turned out to be a complete beast! He took to attacking our animals and even our dogs were cowed by him. He pecked two holes in my lamb's muzzle and it took weeks for that to heal. She lost quite a lot of blood and I was wondering if I was going to have to write an obituary for her soon.
We held a meeting and decided that he just had to go, so my dad pulled out the axe and we gave him the chop. He was certainly a tough old took Mother over four hours to cook him!!

So we were back to just having old Big Hen around and she got used to being quite spoilt.
And then she did something totally unforgivable. She became so tame that she took to roosting on the kitchen windowsill. You might think that there is nothing wrong with that but you didn't have to clean the wall and veranda every two or three days, nor did you you have to live with the smell of fresh chicken manure. I took to quoting Gerald Durrel's brother Larry every time I had to clean up the mess.
"Look at this! Now we're expected to wade knee deep in guano!!"
I am convinced that, had that been the only unforgivable act she committed, we would have forgiven her soon enough. Instead, she had to take it one step further and every morning after my dad left for work, she would wander into the kitchen and potter around looking for spiders and moths.
It took a while for us to realize what was going on but one morning the truth was knocked into my sister. I don't think she had much luck in those days and I used to feel quite sorry for her.

One morning she dashed into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee before she had to milk (she was running late) and the next thing she was sliding across the tiled floor waving her arms and wobbling all over trying to keep her balance. I'm afraid it didn't help much and two seconds later she landed with a big thud on the floor...and into some more evidence.

From that moment on, Big Hen was banished to the chicken run. The whole family was warned that if they felt sorry for her and let her out, they would have to clean up the mess by themselves!
We had no more trouble from her after that. And she must have felt really bad about the episode because she gave us one egg every day, sometimes we even got two, till the day she died.

To Farm or Not to Farm Part 1

It all started with two dogs, one chicken and one goat. At that stage we had just moved up to the farm and we were loving every minute of it! Everyone just wanted to explore every inch of the farm, the house and every other place in sight. The house was perfect for us, the rooms large and spacious and oh joyous! there were actually two bathrooms. This might not seem like an awesome discovery to you, but to us it was wonderful. Trust me, when there are four women in the house, one bathroom just ain't enough. Especially if three of those women happen to be teenagers, each going through a different phase.

Our dogs were very surprised at all the space. Jock was a Staffy and Lady was a rottweiler cross something or other. The day we moved up to the farm was a real scorcher, so both dogs found a spot in the garden and collapsed. Typically, Lady picked a piece of ground under the massive lemon tree, promptly dug a hole large enough to hold not only herself but three other dogs as well, and then stretched out and slept.
Jock, on the other hand, had discovered the big tank outside the kitchen. He sat under the tap and then when we didn't get the point he scowled, pouted and eventually started howling. We got the point...and turned on the tap. Ice cold water gushed out and poured down his chubby face. He grinned!
Humans, he decided, weren't too stupid after all. It just takes a bit of persuasion and hinting, that's all.

It took ages to move all the boxes and furniture where we wanted them but eventually we had everything unpacked and were nicely settled in.
That is when all the trouble started. After getting settled in, I mean. It always happens with this family. We get settled into a place and then the trouble starts. I suppose this time I can't really call it trouble, at least, not in the strict sense of the word.
It wasn't long before everyone, including all the animals in the vicinity, figured out that we were a bunch of suckers. Obviously, we were the only ones who didn't figure it out until it was too late.

Our neighbor had a lot of chickens that he kept in a big run. Every morning they were let out to scratch and roam around in the fields. One morning, after a night of rain and hail, one of the chickens became adventurous and got into our garden where it calmly proceeded to scratch up the newly planted-only-last-week pansies. This was undoubtedly a disaster of the most grave nature. It had my sister in a terrible rage.
A chicken was in HER flowers!!
I sent up a silent prayer for the chicken, who was still blissfully unaware of the stir it was causing, knowing that there was a chance it just wouldn't survive the next few minutes. I had, however, forgotten all about Mother.
My sister dashed outside and left all the doors open behind her. I heard her yelling insults and abuse at the chicken whilst that adventurous fowl tore around the front lawn looking very much as if it wished it could fly. For one tiny second I saw roast chicken with fresh peas and potatoes and then I ran off to help my sister catch the sinning chicken.

We should have been more careful, we should have known that in a few seconds all would turn to chaos. We, however, were only aware of the chicken and weren't capable of reasoning with Murphy about his very tiresome law.

With a yell that could be heard all the way to the next farm, my sister took a flying leap at the passing chicken. Naturally she missed, lost her balance, slipped on the very wet grass and landed with a terrible thud and a howl of pain and frustration on the grass. For a minute I thought the breath must have been knocked out of her but before I could even get near her she was up with a leap and after that doomed chicken. (I hope you haven't forgotten about Mother...)

Remember the open doors? Well, in all the excitement, we had forgotten them. With a small cackle of triumph that fiendish fowl neatly sidestepped a tackle, ducked under my legs and disappeared into the house. We saw it waddle quickly down the passage and skid around the corner and into my sister's bedroom. Oh boy! That chicken is so roasted now!!

All the doors were carefully shut and then we tried once more to catch that terrible fowl. My sister, still quite upset with said fowl, was prepared to forgive and forget now that she had calmed down slightly, only she forgot all her good intentions when she saw (or rather, smelt) what said bird had done under her bed! For days that room smelt so bad she had to sleep on the couch in the living room.
That's it, I thought, that chicken doesn't have a hope in the world now. Not a prayer, nada.
I had, however, forgotten Mother.

"But sweetheart, just think! Fresh eggs for breakfast (quite clever, Mother, knowing full well my sister's favourite was scrambled eggs), and if we get a rooster we can hatch out some eggs and raise the chicks and then we will have more chickens...yes of course we'll keep them in a run..."

Needless to say, it didn't turn out that way at all. be continued

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pride Comes Before a Fall

Yes, indeed it does! Read on and you'll see what I mean!

I was about fifteen or sixteen, dreadfully vain and with an ego that reached new heights with every compliment I received. I spent long minutes in front of the mirror, brushing my hair, putting on face creams, preening. Pretty pathetic, now that I am older and all things considered. At the time, however, I didn't see anything wrong in it.

I went down to the beach one day and the weather was so wonderful I decided to go for a swim. I grabbed a towel, kicked off my shoes and walked down to where the sand started. When I got there I saw our local rugby (football) team busy practising on the sand. I immediately stood up straighter, sucked in my stomach, flicked my hair over my shoulder and started the short walk onto the sand and to the rocks where I could leave my things whilst swimming. I threw my towel onto the sand, pulled off my shirt and tossed it along with my sarong, next to my towel. And then I darted towards the water, hair flying!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1....OOEMPFF!!! I hit the sand and lay there for a few seconds, completely stunned. This just couldn't be happening to me...only it was, it had and I was now aware that the whole rugby team had stopped playing and were watching me with scarcely controlled mirth. I felt the blush move up along my neck, reach my ears and carry on up. I was burning with embarrassment but the longer I lay there, the worse it was going to get. So up I jumped with a big smile pasted on my face and took off again towards the water.

3, 2, 1....AAARGH!!! KADOEF! Oh woes! I lay there, my mouth filled with sand, my nose all squished up. Could this get any worse? I shouldn't have asked...I heard muffled laughter coming from behind me. Oh the shame, the embarrassment! I closed my eyes and wished the earth could just swallow me up and that this could all just be a bad dream from which I would wake. I tentatively opened one eye but I was still lying in the sand.

Oh well, it could not get any worse so I jumped up again and made a last passionately hopeful attempt at reaching the water before embarrassing myself further...but it just wasn't to be. I hadn't taken more than ten steps before I fell for the third time. I was shattered! I could hear the guys guffawing on the beach and their laughter just made me blush all the more.

I crawled the last few paces to get completely into the water and there I stayed, my back towards the beach. I didn't want to see them, didn't want them to see how red my face was, how embarrassed I was.
And then, treacherous humor! I felt my mouth start to twitch and I could feel the laughter bubbling up inside me. The ridiculousness of the situation struck me in waves and I burst out laughing.

I was still giggling to myself an hour later when (after making sure the guys had all left) I walked out of the surf and went back to my chalet.

That day served to teach me a very valuable lesson: Pride does indeed come before a fall!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Earliest Memory

Someone very dear to me asked me the other day what my earliest memory was. So I decided to write my earliest memory down here, in case I forgot later on.

When I was about four or five years old (I think the age changes but I do remember that my little sister was just starting to walk, perhaps I could have been younger, she was about fifteen months old, give or take a month or two) and my older sister and I had begged my dad to make us a tree house in our back yard. There was this huge tree and so my dad hammered in some planks to make a platform and put up a rope ladder so that my sister and I could climb up it and sit on the platform. It was pretty high up and it was great to lie up there on hot afternoons and tan or watch the clouds.

One day we had quite a few guests over and my mom was indoors busy seeing to everyone and being hostess. My sister and I decided to escape all the hum drum and so we sped along to our tree house, climbed up the ladder and lay on the platform watching all the people below coming and going.

We noticed my younger sister making her way out the house on her little wobbly legs, exploring her new found freedom. We watched in amusement as she removed her diaper, flung it over the goat's horns (we had a pet goat at the time called Lottie) and then toddled over to the roap ladder. Now our eyes had become just a little bit bigger as we watched her start to make her way up the ladder. She climbed up pretty quickly but just as she was nearing the top, one of the gentlemen standing on the other side of the garden happened to turn around and noticed the goat standing there by the tree with an outraged expression on her face, and a diaper hanging limply over her eyes! He gave a start...looked up and yelled for my mother to come and see quickly and oh! someone help the poor child before she falls!!

My little sister was quite unperturbed and finished climbing to the top of the ladder, wriggled over the top and then turned and lay on her stomach and the three of us then watched with amusement the following proceedings.
All the guests had come running out of the house and were now standing in our back yard, looking up at the tree.
My mother came out through the door and saw the goat standing there, still looking very hard done by and she smiled! She looked up at the tree and saw three little faces peering down at her and then she began to laugh. I was actually dreadfully funny if you think about it!

We had to help my sister down from the tree because it was a lot harder going down than it was going up. It was great fun, though, and we were all quite psyched about it and couldn't wait to tell our dad. After that, however, we had to tie up the rope ladder so that my little sister couldn't access it by herself. It was quite dangerous and we didn't want anything to happen to her.

Later on in life my sister and I climbed lots of trees and had great adventures! But I will always remember her first trek into a tree!

A Hand to Hold...

This memory dates quite a ways back to when I was about...lets see....hmmm....about ten or eleven years old, if I am not mistaken. My family and I had driven through to Cape Town for the yearly Cape Argus Cycle Tour. My dad was taking part and so was my mom and they had to go to the WaterFront to register for the race.

All fine and well, we tagged along to check out the sights. Not that there were too many to see. Mostly there were just large groups of people wherever you looked, and often there were crowds just at the places where we wanted to wander over to. So we strolled around pretending to know people and trying to see if there was anything interesting at all to see.

I saw a big group of people gathered around what looked like a giant teddy bear and without looking around I grabbed my dad's hand firmly in mine and dragged him with me to see what it was. I wasn't quite prepared to go alone, a little intimidated by all the people and especially afraid that I might lose myself in amongst all of the crowds so that my parents would not be able to find me again. All the horror stories of children being kidnapped came back to me and I shivered and squeezed my dad's hand a little harder, still tugging him along.

"Come on Daddy, let's go and have a look see over there! It looks like a big teddy...oooohhh...I would love to have a big teddy like that one day, that would be so cool! Come on daddy!" I gave an extra hard tug. What on earth was wrong with my daddy all of a sudden? He didn't seem keen at all to come with me and he normally was very enthusiastic.

Hang on a second...I stopped short in my tracks. couldn't be! I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and turned around. I opened my eyes slowly and looked up...straight into the eyes of a stranger. Oh dear! What on earth had gone wrong? My dad was right behind me when I had grabbed his hand, I knew he was. Oh this was just terrible!
I went bright red (and I still blush to this day when I think about this!) and hastily dropped his hand. Poor guy, no wonder he had been so reluctant to follow me...

A laugh bubbled up from inside me and spilled forth and before long I was sitting on the ground laughing so hard the tears were flowing down my cheeks. Everyone was staring at me and that just made me laugh harder. I saw my parents amongst the crowd and all I could do was wave at them and laugh. I think I was a little hysterical as well from shock but it truly was hilarious to see the unfortunate man's hand that I had grabbed and assumed was my father's.

My parents came over and rescued me from the curious stares of the strangers and I apologised to the stranger for dragging him all over the place. He laughed and said it was okay, he didn't mind. My parents, when they heard what had happened, also burst out laughing. Apparently my dad had seen me grab this stranger by the hand and before he could say or do anything I was steamrollering the stranger off all over the place. Apparently it was quite a sight ~chuckle~ I can just imagine. I am not a slow walker and have also been referred to as a porsche ~grin~

So...if the stranger ever gets to read this : I am so sorry I made you follow me all over!
Message to all future strangers...beware of Angelupé Leeky!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Quasimodo and I

Its strange how one can remember so many little things that happened in one's life when younger. I was just sitting here now, remembering a little bird that made such a big difference in my life! He taught me so many lessons, but most of all he brought me joy and I loved him so much.

I found him one day on our porch, lying in a big bag filled with wood shavings. He had fallen from his nest and he looked so forlorn and lonely that I just had to take him in and care for him. I found a box, put an old knitted jersey into it and also my favourite stuffed animal. He was so small, had no feathers at all and couldn't have been much older than about two weeks. He looked so ugly and yet was so adorable that I couldn't give him any name other than Quasimodo.

From that first day on Quasimodo went everywhere with me. I took him with me to town and went to the library with him. On these excursions into town I would take a very small little box with me, with a sock folded into the shape of a nest, so that he could stay warm. And I would take his food with me in a syringe and feed him every two hours. It caused quite a stir in the library the first week but after a few days all the librarians would come up to me and ask me how it was going with Quasi.

Quasi, naturally, enjoyed all the attention immensely and would even put on a bit of a show for the children who would come and peek into the box at him. When it was very cold I would put on a rollneck sweater and let him curl up against my neck to keep warm. He would be very reluctant to climb out into the cold box after that and I used to have quite a few wriggling sessions trying to get him out! Needless to say, that also caused a stir ~chuckle~
I mean, just imagine it. You see this girl walking around in the library and next minute she's wriggling and talking to herself about not tickling and being good! Yep, it sure did make heads turn :)

As Quasimodo got older, his first little feathers started appearing. I was thrilled when his baby fluff was replaced by the beautiful feathers of a growing swallow. Swallows have always been my favourite birds and being able to raise one from a baby was a privelage and a blessing for me. I watched in amazement how he lost his gangly look and started putting on a bit of weight. His feathers turned glossy blue black and the markings around his eyes became more prominant. He truly was becoming beautiful!

He was also becoming progressively more cheeky as the weeks passed by. In the evenings I had a huge problem making him stay in his box instead of jumping out and onto my bed. I would put a lid over the box but he would become so frantic that I was afraid he would harm himself.
So I would turn over onto my stomach, drape my arm over the side of the box and let him curl up inside my hand and go to sleep. It was the only way he would sleep.

I, on the other hand, didn't get much sleep at all because it was very uncomfortable to lie that way and I constantly had a stiff neck and sore shoulders. No matter how little sleep I got, though, I couldn't bear the idea of him being unhappy or hurting himself, so I would fall asleep each night with Quasi curled up in the palm of my hand.

One evening, after an exciting day in town, I couldn't get him to calm down and settle in for the night. He wouldn't even curl up in my hand, but kept on trying to fly out the box. That day he had just discovered that if he flapped his wings real hard, he could get a few feet off the ground and move forwards. Now he tried that tactic out with me and I just couldn't get him to stay in the box. My mom came into the room and told me that I had better let him up on the bed so that we could all get some sleep. She said that my "mother's instinct" would stop me from rolling over in the night and squishing him. I was still hesitant because I really wasn't sure if I could keep from rolling around. I always did! Eventually I couldn't ignore little Quasi's cries any longer and so I picked him up and let him snuggle up against my neck, where he was happiest.

After ten minutes of chirping softly into my ear, he finally closed his eyes and drifted off into birdie sleep. I lay awake as long as I could, petrified that if I fell asleep I would move around and squish him. Later on I drifted off, unable to keep my eyes open any longer.

Around about 3am the next morning I awoke with a start. I couldn't feel Quasi by my neck anymore and when I switched on the light I became really worried. I gently pushed my duvet aside and sat up...and then I saw him.
I couldn't stop the tears from flowing as I looked at him, so peaceful now. He must have crawled down under the covers sometime during the night and although I hadn't turned over, he had got caught up in the duvet and must have suffocated. I was totally devastated, crying while holding him close to me, rocking him and speaking softly to him, even though he couldn't hear my voice anymore. I sat there for more than two hours, crying and rocking his silent form.

Around 5am I went outside to bury him. I didn't have anymore tears to cry, my heart was dreadfully heavy! He had trusted me and I had let him down. Yet I knew that I couldn't have not let him sleep by me that night.

It is years later now, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Quasi had a way to make you feel special and needed. True, he was only a bird, but he knew whenever I was sad, or ecstatically happy, he knew when to climb onto my shoulder and chirp in my ear, he knew when to turn somersaults to make me laugh.
He truly was a miracle and a great blessing in my life and I will never forget him!

Fact or Fiction...

I was once asked if I believe in fairytale know, like happily ever after? Well, its rather hard to say. Mostly I never cared for fairytales that ended in happily ever after, especially when looking at relationships in this world. So many divorces, so many broken families, kids on drugs, alcoholics, smokers...what sort of happily ever after is that?? I never believed in love at first sight or falling in love. A true sceptic, that's me!

So, the question is, does love at first sight exist? What is love? How do you know you love someone? I've asked myself these questions so many times over the last few years and although I had my own theories and ideas, I can't say I truly knew the answers to any of these questions.
Love has always been a pretty controversial issue, all people have their own ideas. Let me tell you what I think love means, and what it means to me.

Love : out-going concern, giving, sharing, caring. Giving of yourself and not expecting anything in return.

That is how I see the meaning of love.
I figured that you couldn't possibly love someone if you didn't know them, which was why this whole theory of love at first sight didn't sit too well with me. I believe that somewhere out in this world, there is a right person for everyone, someone to share the rest of your life with. I also believe that if you wait patiently, you will finally meet up and be able to plan a life together. This way there won't be any broken relationships, couples moving in and out with each other, broken hearts and unwanted children.

I used to dream of a time when I would finally meet up with the man of my dreams. Be able to see him and get to know him. For years I have dreamt of this man. What he would be like, I would even hear his voice in my dreams. Yet through the years, I never met him. Later on I got impatient, wanted to go out and LOOK for him ~chuckle~ Women are like that, they want to have a man nearby to love them and take care of them, a man that is gentle and kind yet strong and firm. I wanted that security and love so much, I wanted to have my own family, my own children.
Hearing about babies thrown away on the news, watching children in orphanages, seeing children that don't receive any love from their parents...this all made me furious! Especially with the parents that just couldn't be bothered with their children. They dump their babies off at daycare from 7am till 5pm and then have a nanny or au pair to take care of them when they are at home.

I used to be an au pair and it broke my heart when the children became so attached to me that the little ones even started calling me "mommy". I used to cry myself to sleep, wishing I could change this world right now, wishing I could adopt all those homeless children and be a mother to them all.

I digress...although its all part of the same subject. Love, marriage, family. Marriage is supposed to be a sacred covenant between two people, not to be taken lightly. Yet most of the world treats it as a joke. Why marriage when you can just live together? This is the way most people see it. Its tragic!
Its been said that a stable community is built on stable families...could this be why our country is falling apart? Something to think about!

Back to the original question, though...are happily ever afters fact or fiction? Personally, I think they are fact. You can have a happily ever after ending, just like in the fairy tales.
The real question is : Are you capable of working hard to create that happily ever after? They don't just happen, you need to work to make them happen.

So...I believe in happily ever you?

P.S. Just in case you're wondering...I finally did meet the man of my dreams and he is everything I dreamt him to be and more!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rude Awakening

I awoke with a start, lay there a moment wondering what on earth had woken me so unceremoniously. It took about five minutes of rapid blinking to realise that it was more or less light outside, but not very. I stuck my hand out from under the covers but withdrew it very quickly. Man! It was cold!!

I lay there for another few minutes listening and suddenly I heard it...a steady munching and a clippety-clop close by.

Honestly! This was the limit. I flew out of bed, pulling on a jacket while passing my warddrobe and jumped into a pair of shoes. Rushing down the passage to the kitchen I popped my head into my sister's room and yelled. Then I carried on running until I got outside. There, strewn like confetti all across our garden, were the goats. There were 17 in all, 12 of them little devils! Never did they miss out on the chance to sneak into our rose garden or into the herb patch behind the house.
And now there they were, munching away on not only our roses, but our fig tree as well. This was really more than I could bear. Those figs were delicious and it was total sacrilege to see the goats munching only a bite out of them before spitting them out. I was completely outraged!

I opened the gate leading to their camp and then started trying to round them up. I say try...because it didn't work quite that way. As soon as I had some of the kids in the camp, the others would crowd around so that I couldn't open the gate without the already caught kids escaping.

Those of my family members who were inside heard a frustrated wail start up and they must have decided to have pity on me and come and help because to my relief I saw some people emerging from different directions. A few minutes later we had them all where we wanted them and then we could go back inside and get some well earned coffee. It was only when we turned around that we noticed a few of the workers standing around in a group staring at us.

It hit us like a wave...our skin color changed from pale to deep red. What a sight we must have been, dressed in our pajamas, slip on shoes, hair all over the place, puffy eyes; chasing goats all over the garden. We did make some spectacular dives as well.
Hmmm...definately something to remember. Note to self: go to bed fully dressed in case of emergencies!