So I never did shoot anything, mostly on account of the fact that we saw little game, and when we did, it was mostly happy antelope bums running away. They would not friggen stand still, which was unbelievably irritating. Douw shot an impala ewe (and as he is not taking chances on importing venison into Taiwan, there will be a bit of it my freezer, after all) and my father got a enormous kudu cow. It was so big that the farm owner kept on making jokes about checking if it did not have a couple of small horns. There would be a small difference in price of course, to the tune of about R3200,00.
I did not feel bad about my lack of spoils, as experienced hunters like Kallie, my brother-in-law, also failed to get something for the pot.
In spite of this, our trip was illuminating, rewarding and my universe is, again, slightly bigger. It was good to bond with my father, and make him scrambled eggs in the morning. It was great to spend time with my boet. And it was a relief to spend time with Kallie’s four screaming daughters – it serves to be reminded from time to time that children can drive you mad and will, given even the tiniest opportunity.
Everything seemed large enough to be strange in retrospect. The fire in the lapa was a ranging inferno; we ate food from a pot way too big for a stove. And the stars… the size of Kruger rands, just inches from your nose. OK, well, I have never actually seen a Kruger rand, so make that a five rand coin. But I think you get the picture.
Perhaps it is just this: that when you leave town and head for a place where electricity is so sparse that Venus casts shadows on the ground, there is space in which to expand, and given the opportunity, all matter does. I too was a slightly bigger when I got back to the city, but I suspect it was caused by a strict diet of starch, protein and alcohol, rather than metaphysical mystery.
Still, that stuff about freedom to breathe is not overestimation, and one should get away more. Next time I am even going to leave the laptop at home and not do a single stitch of work.