Monday, September 7, 2015

The day the zebra ate my homework!

Welcome to the 200th blog-post from Zimbabwe. For those who are new to the site, older posts can be found at the top right of this page. And if you enjoy reading the blog - there is a button at the top of the page marked "Follow". Click on that and you will be notified every time I post.

Those who have been here before will know Shungu the baby zebra - and this is the story of the time he ate my homework!

Shungu (whose name means 'guts', or 'heart' or 'spirit' in the local Shona language) had the misfortune to be born on the same day that 2 stallions were taking over a herd, and because he was not their genetic material, and further because he would be future competition for mares - they tried to kill him. He was viciously kicked and bitten and would  definitely have died had we not rescued him. He suffered horrendous wounds, and can never re-join the herd.

About 4 months old now, he is fully healed, he stays in our stables with our horses. He spends some of his day at Pamuzinda, occasionally visiting the Reception Office:

My desk in Reception is located at the back, behind the counter, and he has learned that I am to be found there, so he visits me whenever he passes by. Like one of my kids popping in to see me!

He tends to nibble at stuff as he goes - checking to see what is edible or not. I guess this role would normally be filled by his mother, but as he doesn't have one, he is on his own. I certainly don't want to crawl around eating grass and showing him the best leaves and shoots to snack on!

Here he is testing a chair for edibility . . . .

He eased closer to the desk, and nuzzled me before he started to sniff at everything on my desk. Like a horse, grabbing and squeezing his upper lip releases an endorphin, and he also loves having his head scratched. Like all children he loves having an occasional 'snuggle'. However I was busy getting shopping orders ready, so I ignored him and went back to fighting with my Outlook Express - a battle I wage daily with not much success.

This was the opportunity the crafty little zebra had been waiting for . . . .

The next thing I knew he was chewing contentedly on my paperwork! I was so shocked that I only managed a quick snap - (which came out slightly blurred with my little point-and-click camera), before rescuing the bulk of the paper before he really started chewing:

So what did he eat? Well, I had been preparing to go to Harare for a couple of days break, and had been trying to leave instructions for the shopping trip the following Thursday. Most of my orders go to companies we deal with weekly - so I draw up emails and send them off for quotations. But this week I had needed some stuff on a one-off basis, and had scribbled notes (and a seriously good diagram) explaining what the guys would have to search for in Harare.

So that was the day the zebra ate my homework. Seriously.

As I didn't have time to write it out again, I left instructions for the staff to keep an eye out for the missing bit to re-appear the following morning, and I placed a roll of scotch tape in a prominent position on my desk, so they could re-attach it as and when it surfaced. Or rather - dropped into view.

Just another day at Pamuzinda.

Have a great day!

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