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Menings | Opinion > Briewe | Letters > SpeakEasy

Namaqualand adventure

Annie - 2008-08-19

Many moons ago, shortly after I got married, we went on a trip to visit faraway relatives who just happened to live in Namaqualand. The journey was endless, but as I had never really encountered the countryside, there was more than enough to keep me very occupied.

The visit went smoothly until the day that the host decided that it was time to replenish the deep freeze. The man had several large herds of sheep, including the karakul and it was easy to arrange.

We drove out into the veld and during the journey the host remarked that the herdsmen had reported the sighting of a leopard. I shivered as I have a horror of large cats.

We arrived at the designated meeting place and the herdsman indicated that he had selected a suitable sheep and was driving it towards us. I was told to stand in a particular spot to keep the sheep from running away.

A little nervous, I nevertheless did as I was told and stood quietly. I looked at the distant mountains and wondered where the leopard could be hiding and what if he just happened to be close by?

With that, a veld rabbit popped out of its hole quite close to my foot and darted away. I broke the world’s sprint record and dived into the car, screaming like a banshee. Needless to say the rest of the party laughed so much and so loudly that the sheep managed to get away and the process had to be restarted.

Pofadder is a small town and the news of my “mishap” spread like wildfire and the townspeople made an effort to come and meet “die Ingelse meisie wat so skrik vir ‘n haas”. Fortunately, the visit did not last much longer and we could head for home. To date, I have never been back to that particular town.