Feeding Vanessa the Kudu breakfast


One of the tribe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


There once was a piggy named Ziggy...and one of Tiger's favorite pets in the whole wide world. For when Ziggy was the youngest of piggys, the two-and-a-half-year old used to visit him often in his huge, five-acre garden off of Windy Ridge Lane. But that's when Ziggy was a little piggy. And now he's the size of a baby elephant and likes to head butt little boys from Kazakhstan. Enough of that piggy! For now.

Ziggy's human parents, Frankie and Donny, are away for several weeks with their three children, so it’s their landlord Roger who gets the call. Someone at the dukas (shops) in Karen has rung him and is in a desperate state. “Those dogs, those big dogs of Donny’s got out and the pig is with them and they’re holding up traffic!” Suddenly, a spate of calls follows as more and more people in the neighborhood spot the foursome (three dogs, one Ziggy) tumbling around the parking lot. Indeed, when Roger rushes to his Land Rover – his wife takes the Golf – a small crowd has gathered at the gate to their home. How in the world, he wonders, how in the world do they know already?

He and Lilly zip down in their separate cars to fetch the interlopers and it is truly a scene at the dukas. Ziggy’s zig-zagging after Brutus, Charlie and Tulula as if they are his spirit guides in the great unknown; shoppers are squeaking and yelping; and other drivers are yelling at the security guards to open the gates to the lot, the only thing which is keeping the pets from becoming roadkill on the crossroads.

The dogs welcome Lilly with thumping tails and lolling tongues, but as they hop into the back of her Golf, Ziggy has a fit. He’s having none of it; he won’t go ANYWHERE without them, his brothers in deed and misdeed. Much squealing ensues. Roger and his friend Patrick have a devil of a time loading the porcine giant (who won’t stop grunting, coughing and screeching menacingly the whole time) into the Land Cruiser. It is a sweaty, arduous affair for all three, and Ziggy, as leader of the pack, is bereft at losing his three stooges. He’s a dog after all, why isn’t he traveling with the other dogs?!

Roger is distraught over the whole damn thing, what an undertaking, what a zoo. Meanwhile, the squealing continues at a high, feverish pitch in the back of his car. He turns to Ziggy and says, as kindly as he can,” If you don’t stop that now, I’m taking you to the butcher.” And off they go.


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.