Author Topic: Seeing as it's a bit quiet in here, here's something from the archives.  (Read 962 times)

Offline Gyppo

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During my recent move, when I was thinning out the files, I came across this handwritten piece from the 90s, when I visited Marwell Zoo with my two girls  We also saw a baby Zebra being born, which was a truly memorable event.

Anyway, I offer this for your entertainment, and possible comments, just as it was written at the time.

=====

Hey you, Zebra.
I see you gazing across the green hills of England.
dreaming of the Serengeti or wherever.
I bet you can still smell Africa.

You were born in captivity here at Marwell,
but your stripes tell the story of the real you,
wild and untamed.

And me, how do I know you so well?

I stand here in my suit ,
hair short and tidy,
leaning on my Mercedes.

But my nose smells woodsmoke,
my ears hear the jingle of harness
and though - like you - I was born in captivity
I can recall things I've never even known.

But while you are forced to wear your stripes
I can choose to ignore my heritage,
my large gold earring, my dicklo.

I can play the gauje,
until the wind puts tears in my eyes,
and my heart burns like my people's campfires,
until I want to smash down your fence
and let you run free, wild on the hillside.

But I won't, because unlike me,
you can't adapt to blend in.
You're a foreigner in England.

And me?  I'm a foreigner everywhere.

Yes, Zebra, I know you.
But you'll never know me.

Gyppo
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 02:18:16 PM by Gyppo »
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Offline indar

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A zebra in England what a fun way to express the N's feeling of differentness. I sense no bitterness, just musing on being part of the diversity that has come to make up populations trying to all live together.

Thank you for posting--has the board ever been this slow before

Offline Gyppo

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Just for the hell of it, here's the picture of the baby Zebra just a few seconds after it was born.  Still joined by the cord and only halfway out of the bag.

Left click to enlarge.
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Offline indar

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OMG did you want to just gather it up in your arms and hug it?

Offline Gyppo

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I just typed up a reply and then hit the wrong keys and lost it.  Now I have to go out.  Will try and have another go at it later.  It's quite a little story ;-)
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

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Offline Mark T

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Nice one, Gyppo. Thanks for sharing.

Offline Gyppo

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Here's the story which goes with the baby zebra photo.  It has a few dark moments but there's a happy ending.

Apparently zebras normally give birth at night.  Like a baby horse they're on their feet almost straight away, and within an hour they can run with the herd.  The nocturnal birthing gives them a fighting chance when the various carnivores greet the dawn with a hungry belly.

There were only half a dozen visitors down in the secluded corner and we were all fascinated.  The pictures were taken with my old film camera.

But mum zebra was a first time mother and all her instincts were telling her to panic.  She started stamping on the baby, quite possibly in an attempt to help it out of the bag and onto its feet a bit quicker.  My girls were horrified so I pulled them in close and hid their eyes.  There was nothing else I could do.  No way could anybody easily get over the fence even if we'd known how to handle the situation.

One of the onlookers had a mobile phone and called the right number.  A jeep raced up with four passengers, three of whom piled out and drove the mother away with brooms, and the fourth, a girl, just gathered up the baby and carried it into the jeep.  They drove away to the wardens' compound.

A few days later there was a newspaper picture of the baby being bottle-fed by the girl, and an explanation of what had happened.  They tried to reintroduce the baby to the mum but she didn't want to know.

The baby girl, named Bronwen, has since gone on to be a mother herself with no problems.  Quite a little celebrity.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

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Offline indar

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Awwww :) :) :)

SharonLeigh

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Re: Seeing as it's a bit quiet in here, here's something from the archives.
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 07:19:58 PM »
This is fantastic, full of rich color and character. I love the affinity you felt for the out-of-place wild creature. Especially love S6 & S7. Truly enjoyed- thanks for sharing it!

Sharon

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Seeing as it's a bit quiet in here, here's something from the archives.
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 07:42:13 PM »
Cheers, M'Dear.

One of those which just welled up out of nowhere when I saw the picture again after many years.
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline drab

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Re: Seeing as it's a bit quiet in here, here's something from the archives.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 09:58:23 PM »
Love this G, and the connection you felt; I felt it too.
The 'Mercedes' was a genius inclusion.
JMO, but I'll never visit anything that confines wild animals.
I'm a keen scuba diver; it constantly reminds me that we know so little about them.
We've been told they (fish) don't feel pain and possess no intelligence/memory...I know they're wrong.
I've often wondered if they had vocal cords...if we could hear thousands caught in a net, screaming, would
we be so blase  :(
Anywho, it might be an oldie, but it's gold IMO. 
To live, with gentle but cunning deceit, and accept the consequences, is the destiny of every man.