Thembi Treks The Wild Coast
Thembi is a Transkei pig
Despite this fact her dreams are big
She paused one day with wrinkled snout
Sniffed the air and looked about
She thought perhaps her first real think
Thembi’s future in the brink:
“There’s more to life than food and drink
Than yummy mud and toasty sun
Although my life is super fun
There’s stuff out there that must be done!
And so she set off at a run!
Butterflies were in her tummy
When she went to tell her mummy
“Mum I’m going to leave the Kei!
It’s very hard to say goodbye,
you may not see the reason why
But I’m asking you to try!”
“There’s a place I long to see
Its name is “Esikhaleni”*
I’m full of curiosity
So don’t expect me home for tea!”
*Xhosa name for Hole in the Wall
“I’m proud of you my mighty girl
Its fab to see your wings unfurl!
Its hard indeed to say goodbye
The risk is real that I may cry
Its time for Thembi pig to fly!
But I’ll see you bye and bye…
Off you go, I wish I had,
Before I settled with your dad!”
So Thembi packed her bag of tricks
her camera for all the pics
somespray to rid herself of ticks
theZambuck tub for every-fix
Her bag felt like a ton of bricks
Then off sherushed to catch the ferry
Waved goodbye, excited? VERY!
Landing on the other side
Of the Kei, that great divide
She felt a pang and nearly cried
Set off instead to beat the tide
She journeyed on past rocks and sand
How lovely was this Transkei land!
In her head there played a band
By sundown she was too tired to stand.
She flopped down on a grassy bank
Admired the sky as the sun sank
Then closed her eyes and fell asleep
Her piggy breathing slow and deep
Sprawled in an untidy heap
Soon the stars came out to peep
She leaped up in alarm at dawn
A goat was chewing up her lawn
Nearby a calf with brand new horns
Was munching on some mielies (corn)
Thembi hadn’t time to yawn
“Friends! She grunted in delight
I knew you’d turn up in the night!
Oh what a glorious sight
I wished for you with all my might
Soon we’re going to be so tight!”
“Come explore the coast with me
I’m off to Esikhaleni
I doubt we will be home by tea
But its worth it to be free!”
“Eish!” said the little brown goat
A chuckle rising in his throat
“Hayibo!” said Nguni Calf
Trying hard to hide his laugh
“We would make the oddest herd
I think your plan is quite absurd
But I feel really stirred
By the passion of your words!”
“And if we don’t leave the Kei
Goat may end up on a braai
I think your plan is worth a try!”
They came at last to the Mbashe River
Fearful Thembi felt a quiver
Perhaps a little lily liver?
She sat down glumly on the bank
“Who would save me if I sank?”
Rather doubtful looked brown goat
“The pig and I should find a boat
The risk is great that we’ll not float
Sink and swallow, later bloat
Get washed up somewhere quite remote!”
Nguni laughed and dived straight in
“Come on Thembi, pigs can swim!
Why not go out on a limb?
Goat is mental don’t mind him!”
And to her happy great surprise
The law of nature pig defies
Despite her solid shape and size
She swims like magic, I tell no lies!
Next challenge: a rumbling tummy
Frantic urge for something yummy
To fill the hollow empty feeling
Urgent need to be a –mealing!
But not a spaza shop in sight
“Heaven save me from this plight
I must right now have a bite
Pigs are so not meant to diet
I must make an urgent plan
But I cross rivers so I CAN!”
And there before her very eyes
Were perfect snacks but in disguise
“Look at what I’ve found you guys
You could call them natural highs!”
The fab-delicious num-num berry
The pig in no time very merry
With a full and plumped up belly
From the famous Wild Coast deli
On they went past hill and dale
Many times a great travail
Sometimes pig would gnash and wail
But the herd went marching on
And when every day was done
Were there quitters? Never one!
Hunting dogs in hot pursuit
Being lost, finding a route
Dealing with a herd dispute
Dodging Mama’s cooking pot
Nursing 12 hooves with foot rot
Days of walking, tired a lot
Escaping veld fires smoky hot
Did they give up? Never, NOT!
And when at last they reached their goal
Arriving at that famous Hole
They punched the air and gave high fives
All relieved to be alive
Couldn’t help but dance and jive
Mission complete at last
It had all been such a blast
Thembi felt a pang of sorrow
Had a momentary wallow
Then started planning for tomorrow
A new story will be written
The adventure bug has bitten!
Thembi on the Orange River
Although she isn’t one to boast
Thembi trekked the Wild Coast
So now she knows she’s brave and strong
(She didn’t know that all along)
Surrounded by her super herd
She will never be deterred!
Nguni, Goat and Thembi Pig
Yebo yes these 3 think big!
Headed for the Orange River
Feeling an excitement shiver
What will this new plan deliver?
Set off from the taxi rank
(Feeling anxious lets be frank)
But off they go, no mess no fuss
On the way they pass De Aar
Which is already very far
Everything so flat and dry
Are we there yet? they all sigh
Should we play some more “I Spy”?
Then social weaver nests appear
The scenery so very queer
From the window they all peer
Rock and sand and quiver trees
Constant breaks for poos and pees
At least they found Kentucky chicken
Thembi’s middle instant thicken!
But it helps the trip to quicken!
And then at LAST Augrabies Falls
From this place adventure calls!
Their plan is to design a craft
The herd begins to build a raft
Passers-by all laughed and laughed
“That’s no kayak, don’t be daft!”
They launch at last after much graft
Goat was fore, the Pig was aft
Hardly time to zip life jackets
Up ahead some rushy rapids
Nothing seems too water tight
Then Thembi has an awful fright
The rushing water very white
The trio plummets out of sight
Falling from the greatest height
Heading for the bright white light
Then everything as black as night
Upside down and underwater
Lucky Pig, Nguni caught her
Grabbed her by her curly tail
Clever Goat was quick to bail
Their first attempt an Epic Fail!
So Thembi built her boat again
Used the knowledge she had gained
Though people said she was insane
That she lacked a single brain
And every day the herd all trained
Learning skills and getting strong
It didn’t take them very long
Gritting teeth against the pain
(For pigs this goes against the grain)
But her goal she would attain
A few weeks passed, they tried again.
Intrepid Thembi and her boat
This time did much more than float
Hurtling down Sjambok with ease
She brought her critics to their knees
This Pig has endless expertise!
Now headed for the Richtersveld
Time to fasten safety belts
Optimistic the herd felt
Set up camp on a sand bank
Despite some crises no one sank
Happy to have made it? Lank!
Their lucky stars they truly thank
Settled round a crackling fire
There’s nothing more their heart’s desire
They are so ready to retire
As the moon comes out to peep
Snoring in a happy heap
Exhausted trio fast asleep
Next morning as the sun arose
The herd were still all comatose
But as they opened sleepy eyes
The pig’s first thought was of supplies
Suddenly too weak to rise
Without a breakfast, supersized.
So Thembi flagged down a Fish Eagle
(Although she seemed so very regal)
Asked for help to grant her wish
To bring her hungry herd a fish
Barbel braaied on coals! Delish!
So off they went with bellies full
In every oar stroke lots of pull
Relentless progress ever forward
Barbel, just what Dr ordered!
Came at last to Sendelingsdrif
Arms and shoulders sore and stiff
After all of the “what ifs?”
Thembi wipes a tear and sniffs
Another goal they have attained
And now its time to pop champagne
Before the herd is off again!
Maybe next the Kruger Park?
Hayibo! that would be a lark!
Thembi at the Kruger Park
Thembi’s herd have made their mark
Now they’re headed to Kruger Park
Through the gate at Phalaborwa
Intrepid Thembi, great explorer!
Jumping out their taxi cab
Nguni spots a Baobab
“JISLAAAIK! look at that you okes!
This must be one of nature’s jokes!
The tree is standing on its head,
Roots in the air, how is it fed?”
“Come on,” said Goat, “lets track some game!”
“That’s the reason that we came
Don’t stand about and look at trees
Faff and fiddle, shoot the breeze
This is a moment to be seized!”
Pig and Calf just roll their eyes
They don’t bother with replies
Goat their patience sometimes tries
“Backpacks on, check your supplies
The Park is calling, come on guys!”
The trio begin to search for tracks
Keenly Thembi leads the pack
She has pinned her ears back
(Ignores distracting thoughts of snacks!)
They hope to see all the big five
From far enough to stay alive
And so the herd will surely strive
The carnivores to all deprive
Don’t want to be a lion’s 3 course
Or anybody’s Boerewors
That would lead to sad remorse
This story wouldn’t run its course!
A warthog jogs across their path
His tail aloft, it makes them laugh
Some zebra’s plump and stripy bottoms
Hyenas munching something rotten
Springbok, meerkat, ground hornbill
Every moment a new thrill
On and on they go until
Just beyond a large anthill
A rhino and her calf appear
The trio feel a pang of fear
For just beyond them, very near
Almost too still to see or hear
Are men with dart guns in their hands
At first they didn’t understand
The men must have some evil planned!
The pig is filled with blinding rage
Calf and Goat on the same page
“If they try to take that horn
These okes will wish they’d not been born!
We’re domestic, and not wild
But they haven’t seen us riled
Those men for sure are wicked poachers
We will crush them like cockroaches!”
Thembi charged with angry shriek
Calf and Goat too wild to speak
Right behind her madly leap
This herd is neither mild nor meek
They surely have an axe to grind
The poacher’s plan is undermined
With weight and force of 3 combined
They take the poachers from behind
This savage and surprise attack
Has the poachers on their backs
Goat soon confiscates their gun
Frightened huntsmen on the run
Quickly calf alerts the Ranger
That the Rhinos are in danger
Then they’re off in hot pursuit
Pig takes careful aim and shoots
Darts the poachers in their glutes
Our 3 heroes we salute!
Nguni grabs his vuvuzela
Quickly signals Ranger fella
The poachers well and truly nailed
And by sunset they’re all jailed
No time soon expecting bail
The herd made certain that they failed!
The drama has all settled down
Thembi gives a thoughtful frown
I’ve had a moment to reflect
Its now our mission to protect
We cant let evil go unchecked
Its for this reason we have trekked
We must defend Rhinocerus
To fail would be a loss for us!
She cannot, must not be extinct
The very thought makes my heart sink
We wont allow them to be hurt
We will remain on high alert
And all the poacher’s plans subvert
For this we’ve travelled wide and far
Yebo yes the last Hurrah
Poaching poachers our Coup de Grace
For now we bid you au revoir!