Taking a break from all things writing related, I offer you instead, a little story…with pictures.
I had intended to post about the South African SCBWI conference which I attended just over a week ago, but time has run away with itself, as it seems to do these days. And honestly, what with building a house, biting errant service providers and, needing to dedicate November to finishing my novel, I figured a bit of levity was in order. And so I give you The Tale of Marvin the Magnificent, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on a recent safari…
Madoda Ngala*, Marvin the Magnificent, had achieved himself a rather nice little setup on the northern edge of the Thornybush Game Reserve.
The Reserve had brought in some none-too-smart eland, and Marv, in his undoubted magnificence, had snared himself one. He dragged the unfortunate beast under a dense thicket of bush and began feasting.
He feasted for three days, stopping only to deposit richly steaming piles of malodorous lion poop, and sleep, snoring rhythmically and well, magnificently (lest we forget his magnificence…), his legs splayed in the air, his, erm, lionhood on full display.
Marv also occasionally patrolled his patch, passing rude remarks to the two Timbavati white lions that paced the electrified fence, taunted by the delicious aromas of Marv’s splendid meal.
The rude remarks were, I might add, well in order. The bouffant, blond Hollywood-styled white lions were nothing less than five inbred straws short of damned odd, and thus entirely deserving of a real lion’s scathing disdain.
The first time I saw Marvin, he was casting disparaging looks and offering up offensive comments at the white lions. “Call yourself a lion?” I heard him mutter. “BAH!” he roared.
The second time I saw him, he was performing his toilet. “Marvin did a stinky pooh,” doesn’t even begin to cover the, um, richness of the experience.
The third and final time I saw Marv he was snoring volubly, his well-rounded belly rising and falling in blissful contentment.
I should add that by the time of my third visit, Marv had made remarkable inroads to his dinner. The belly and guts of the late and lamented eland had been devoured, leaving only the rib cage. Both hind legs had been torn off and were maturing nicely, the neck was being saved for a later snack and rested carefully on the buckled forelegs.
Oh yes, Marvin the Magnificent had himself well-sorted; larder, lair and lavatory, and he was in total control of his domain. Entirely inelegant in sleep, he was nevertheless fully assured in his own mind as to his position as King of the Bushveld.
And lest you’re wondering about his name – I have not made it up. I was assured by the game ranger that as a cub Marvin was anything but magnificent and was named in jest. I suspect Marvin’s now having the last laugh.
* Madoda means “male”, ngala means "lion" in the Shangaan language.
I’ll be “going dark” for most of November, in an effort to get the first draft of the novel finished, so please accept my apologies while “service is temporarily disrupted”. Normal blog service will resume in December…