Sunday, 23 March 2008

The Mapogo’s encounter - Sue’s version

So I’m fast asleep. I directed the drive last night, and well, I think I deserve a lie-in. Pieter, very gingerly knocks on my door at 4.45am. Rexon has had to deal with an emergency in the village, and I’m the only one left to direct. How can I refuse?
Just as I turn up, so does Rexon. Fantastic. I can hear my duvet calling.
It felt like about 1 second after I had fallen into the most beautiful sleep ever – yes,another knock on my door.
A rather dishevelled Jan arrives saying something about lions. Maybe I’m still asleep? Then there’s Jan and Nonhlahla at the gate with the bubaloo. Definitely a dream.
Fortunately, and this is very important, I remember my manners, even if it is a dream, and I take the really uncomfortable seat in the middle, between Jan the driver/guide, and Nonhlanhla, on the outside edge. And off we go.
Jan is in radio contact with someone. I can just about make out that Pieter is on the other end. This is getting stranger and stranger. After a short and quite bumpy ride we come to a bend in the road, with a few scrubby trees on either side. I am worried that my unshowered self might be causing my close companions some problems, but the atmosphere is so tense, I don’t want to say anything. Anyway, the bub is a very, very open vehicle, so hopefully that fresh air will disguise my lack of soap this morning.
Jan tells us both to keep quiet and not make any large movements. I am pinned to my seat, and still half asleep, so no problem there.
Then I hear a sneeze. The air is now electric with anticipation. That was a big sneeze, a lion sneeze.
Unbelievably, a huge male lion appears in front of us. Plodding along the road, without a care in the world, and weighing in at about 200kilos He’s not stopping. He’s coming straight at us, in our extremely open bubbaloo.
I feel Nonhlahla start to shake, or it could be me reverberating off Nonhlahla. I remember thanking my lucky stars that I’m in the middle, and that he’s going to eat either Nonhlahla or Jan first because I’m in the middle.
Then the sheer adrenalin kicks in. I am unbelievably thrilled and excited to see this guy. A real live lion now inches from the vehicle, and Nonhlanhla. I feel compelled to look into his eyes. You are so right about that, Jan. I manage to look the lion straight in the eye for about one second until blind terror takes over and he stares me out. He’s now passing us really close by. Yes, I may have shifted a few centimetres towards Jan, and away from the big guy.
I remember thinking that he’s a really strange colour. Not what I would have expected at all. He’s a sort of greenish grey, with a bit of brown thrown in. He has the most unearthly shining huge yellowy eyes. Then the other four turn up and silently, carefully tread the same path as their leader. They all glance at us, in a really disconcerting way. Like they’re thinking: “ which one shall I munch first? “ At one point I realise we are surrounded by four of the most threatening and dangerous lads in the area. They pad off.
It turns out that Piet, Rexon and Jan’s skills have guided us to this spot, and that Piet and Rexon are filming from the vehicle ahead of us. Those pictures tell their own story, and thanks to the guys for giving me one of the highlights of my life. Who needs sleep, anyway? I’ve heard a lion sneeze.


Deb said...

Great story, Sue, and thank you for writing it for all of us to read. Very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Sue how I would have liked to seen your face. Bet that was priceless. But none the less a encounter that will always be remembered and never forgotten. Along with many more stories to come!


LadyDoc said...

Sue- great story and WONDERFULLY written!!! You have given me such a vicarious treat. Thank you SOOO much!

Anonymous said...

Sue, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventure. You have a knack for writing which made me feel like I was right there with you.

Thank you for writing about your experience and also for the great work you're doing at Final Control.

El -

boo said...

That was quite a intiation you had there. I was enthraled reading your account of that morning. Almost to the point of hearing that sneeze myself, and having the hair on my arms stand up.

Welcome to WE!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully brought to life with your words, Sue.

Thanks so much!

I would've wanted to be 'in the middle' also!

Eleanor, NYC

wildsando said...

WOW! What a great experience for you all. Wonderful story. Those Mapogo's are ruley creatures. So glad you did bot get EATEN!
Thanks for sharing your story with us. SO COOL!

Roxanne said...

What an experience Sue!! How exciting it would be to see these rogues up close and personal as you did...I think I would have preferred the middle seat at the point as well! Not that getting a little closer to Jan would be so bad either! LOL! Thank you for sharing your story with us all.

Valorie said...

That was great, Sue. Haha, and I like that you were suddenly thrilled to be sitting in the middle! =)

Hope to see more from you.

Anonymous said...

I haven't checked the blog here in a week or more, shame on me. Loved your version of your Mapogo encounter, Sue. There is this ear to ear grin on my face, what better way to start my day? Keep up the good work!