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The Vain Acacia Tree and the Weaver Birds

Told to Chris and Andrew on the way to Mapungubwe, Saturday 5th August, as a way of explaining why some trees had weaver nests in them, and some didn’t. Back in the time when the trees could walk, some trees thought themselves better than others. This was not linked to one particular species, but simply to each tree’s personality. Trees living in Africa had to move to get water, just like modern wildebeest and zebra do now. The trees used their roots to glide through the soil in search of the precious liquid, and needed all their strength to do so. Some of the trees, being vain, would invite birds to nest in their branches, to make themselves look more beautiful than the others. One of the Acacia trees were the most vain, and invited the clever weaver birds to build their homes in her branches. She kept on inviting more and more of the birds to come, until her branches were hidden underneath the tapestry of nests. Then, one day, a drought came. Many of the other trees started moving away, but the vain acacia was stuck – the nests had made her branches too heavy for her roots to lift out of the soil. And so she was stuck, and had to struggle to find the precious water that would keep her alive. This story was spread around the trees, and so many trees did not allow birds to build their nests in them. But still today, on the N1 that travels north from Pretoria to Polokwane in South Africa, you can still see some of these foolish trees, stuck in the soil because they allowed too many weaver birds to build their nests in their branches.

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The concentrated beam of light blazed onto a leaf of the stinky bean plant and it caught fire. This frightened the fish. The plant was delicious to eat. The explosion was so big that not only did all the plants burn to ashes and the hippos get cooked. and unearthed a large quartz crystal.doc On 31/08/06.The Stinky Hippo Story Told to Chris and Andrew on the way to Mapungubwe. /opt/scribd/conversion/tmp/scratch31290/62194903. This upset the eagles so much that they flew away to the Bujagali Falls in Uganda.. It was a beautiful lake. the Limpopo flowed West rather than East and made the Kalahari Desert the Kalahari Lake. after Doug had mentioned that a ‘stinky hippo’ had followed Andrew around one day. page 2 of 4 . because they could swim on the surface and catch insects.. This calm was disturbed by the arrival of a small family of hippos down the Limpopo. Since the hippos were in the lake. and it grew and grew and grew. The hippos carried on eating the stinky bean plants. so began to open their mouths widely for the eagles to crash into. Once upon a time. and swam deeply. These hippos found the stinky bean plant ideal to eat. but all the water evaporated and the earth buckled so much that the Limpopo ran back the way it came and emptied into the Indian Ocean rather than the Atlantic. and there was a huge explosion. So. And that is the end of the Stinky Hippo story. No-one asked the insects what they thought. and so guzzled as much as they could. where they are today. And then this fire ignited the smelly gas from the hippos. hippos make a real mess of the mud and sand in a lake. The fish were happy. Saturday 5th August. The fish eagles were happy because they could catch fish. using their talons and beaks to underline how important this was. the fish were frightened by the smells. where a large flock of fish eagles eagerly consumed the abundant fish. and no-one dared eat its delicious leaves. but had unfortunate and rather smelly side effects. Now. The fish eagles were greatly annoyed and began to peck and claw the hippos. the stinky bean plant grew and grew. The Sun’s rays shone onto this crystal and it acted as a magnifying glass. This made the fish eagles very annoyed and they were most emphatic in insisting that no-one ate the stinky bean plant. The hippos were irritated by the rudeness of the fish eagles. and the Kalahari Lake turned into the Kalahari Desert. All was peaceful until by chance a clump of the stinky bean plant started growing. and they swam so deeply that the fish eagles could no longer catch them.

just as the bushbuck constellation had guided her home that fateful night. Some elements came from the story of “The lady who build her hut on the Elephant highway” from the African story book that JJ (Joly’s son. She had to ask her eldest daughter to go into the bush to find enough wood for the cooking fire. she was very busy. She had to find her daughter. and noticed a group of stars in the shape of a bushbuck.doc On 31/08/06. and calling for her daughter. and a small log by its side. she called her daughter. still singing. The bushbuck was the emblem of her village. She approached it. as she had rushed off in a hurry. calling. and found the bushbuck where it was lying under the tree. warmed. she was lost as well! There was nothing for it. Still no reply. and the four babies needed baths. The moon had not risen. after several hours. Back in the village. The lady sat and thought. sheltered.The first drums Told to Rachel and Chris on 9th August at Marakeli tented camp whilst the Braai was warming up. then dimmed as the Sun rose in the African sky. and hugged her and her eldest daughter.) Once upon a time. Her children greeted her with tears in their eyes. She looked up to pray for help. Her eyes were closed. the roof to rethatch. and inspired by the workings of Phineas the drum maker. and soon walked into her house with great relief and joy. It was difficult for the lady to constantly keep an eye on the children. and to her surprise. and went into the bush. And this was confirmed when she carried on walking and found a bushbuck curled under a tree. and called her sons to help her. She had many things to do: clothes to mend. and wood to cook with. found it was dead. She went back into the bush. and she struggled to find food to eat. One day. The morning star rose. and it was dark as dark. She showed the children how by hitting the skins they could make a loud ddddrrrrrruummmmmmmmmhhhhh noise. they used fire and axes to hollow the logs. beadwork to finish to sell. The larger one she kept at home. the children by themselves. there lived a lady who had many children. page 3 of 4 . But there was no reply. but she still thought. She went back to her home. She skinned and cleaned the bushbuck skin. once she’d finished her jobs. This was after we’d met Phineas the drum maker and bought Chris’ Venda drum. silhouetting the Baobab and fever trees. The smaller one she gave to her children when they went out to collect firewood in the bush. Fed. they went to bed. she did. drum and logs were mine. and the Sun dried the skin and tightened it. This meant that the bushbuck skin drums would always guide her children home. Well. she found a large log. While gathering the animal. bushbuck. the gathering of wood) but the constellation. and she took this as a sign that this direction was the way home. she slept. And so she worried how she was going to get home. She realised that her daughter had got lost! And now. Her husband was away looking after his cattle. But now the Sun had set. long ago. finding them new pastures. and eventually. Using water she stretched the skin over the hollowed-out logs. /opt/scribd/conversion/tmp/scratch31290/62194903. And a few minutes later she saw the fires from her village. from Uganda) gave Chris (the lady by herself. She left the children with a neighbour.

and was despondently in last place. The Creator saw that the bird was not suited to going that slowly. So surprised was the peregrine that it flapped its wings faster and faster. /opt/scribd/conversion/tmp/scratch31290/62194903. just after the drum story at Marakele. and won its race. and was not looking forward to the animal Olympics. The race started and the birds raced away. As expected. it praised and thanked the Creator.How the peregrine got its speed Told by CPH. Full of gratitude. so took pity on it and gave it more speed. page 4 of 4 . The peregrine was once the slowest bird in the world. who allowed it to keep its speed. the peregrine was the slowest bird.doc On 31/08/06.

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