Feeding Vanessa the Kudu breakfast


One of the tribe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My friend Casey James – she of the reddish-brown, curly long hair cut hippie-style; pert freckled face; and warm, toffee-colored eyes – is as straight a shooter as they come. Direct manner, honest humor, lively and encompassing personality, no frills, no fuss. Nothing delicate about Casey, but she’s very feminine as well, wearing flowered skirts and see-through, nip-and-tuck blouses that accent her slim frame.

And somebody – she’s not sure who – has killed her euphorbia. Baby euphorbia. But instead of being on a rampage, she’s laughing as she tells me what happened over the weekend.

“We were away, just Mick and me, at the coast for three days and couldn’t wait to get home to the girls. As we come up the gravel drive, I’m looking and looking and thinking, ‘What’s wrong?’ Something’s off. Have we been robbed?!’”

Indeed they had been. A party unbeknownst to her and her husband had raided the euphorbia bed in their side garden. Beautiful, candelabra succulents they’d been growing for several years to plant around the new house they are building up near the Ngong Hills.

“Baby candelabras I’d raised from pea shoots BY HAND,” Casey pronounces. “And I was SO proud of them, coming along as they did, looking SO beautiful. But the worst offense? WHOEVER STOLE THEM OR KILLED THEM OR ATE THEM (“Are they edible?” I interject, “I think they could be poisonous”, but she laughs right over me) planted CORN instead. MAIZE,” she’s spluttering and we both guffaw simultaneously.

“Can you imagine? If I’d wanted CORN stalks to adorn my new garden, I would have planted them. Hundreds of them. Not just some PATCH. And what did they do with my babies??!!”

“So Mick and I are standing looking at the CORN, completely flummoxed, and I turn to him and say, ‘Why? Why, why, why?"

Only in Kenya.

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