My friend described things well last night when she said ‘Living in the bush you get different kinds of problems’. You don’t get traffic, no one shoves you on the tube, Zambian greetings are always made with delighted smiles and every day tends to be sunny...what could be better!
The flip side, and there always is one, is the crazy scenarios thrown at us when we least expect it. Rushing outside to bring our daughters, Sienna and Ava, inside because elephant are five metres away. The other day Ava walked within one metre of a large spitting cobra without noticing. Going for a walk is no longer a time for daydreaming, but instead an exercise in concentration as you scan for lion, buffalo, elephant and snakes.
These stories are the source of interest and amusement amongst our friends and family. I wanted to share some of the more entertaining ones with you to give a flavour of life in the African bush. The wonderful Henry McCausland has turned these stories into vibrant chitenge illustrations for us too!
What better tale to kick off with than that of the bold and thirsty Honey badger…
Honey badgers have a notorious reputation. Lions have been seen to stand up and move out of their path, and they can also survive deadly snake venom. But as one clever honey badger worked out, why eat snake when you can raid the Norman Carr Safaris bush camp kitchen? One night this repeat offender with a gift for lock picking found and drank five litres of cooking wine, then fell over blind drunk by the kitchen door.
The next morning he was still sleeping off his hangover when the kitchen staff returned. Horrified to be so close to the legendary thug, they drew straws on who would carry him outside. Surely the only thing scarier than a honey badger is a hung-over one! Quickly placed under a tree, he slowly revived and trotted off groggily, no doubt in search of water.