Sorry I haven't posted for so long but I was disempowered.
One of my charming, well-furred neighbours unplugged me.
Chacma baboon, Papio ursinus. Photo by Arno & Louise Meintjes.
An electricity cable that's been tugged from its socket by mischievous paws should be simple to fix, or so you'd think. Unfortunately, the furry culprit executed this fell deed at the very apex of the power-pole outside my house.
Handymen gathered from far and wide to stand and stare at the pole and shake their heads.
"No way to get up there."
"You need a trained monkey" someone quipped (grrr!).
So I've just had to wait - electricity-free - until a team of electricians could come out from town with their whizz-bang pole-climbing equipment (i.e. a VERY long ladder).
And let me tell you, the wait has not been pretty. I've no idea how people coped before the advent of electricity: thawing pet meat, sour milk, first-degree burns, candle wax dribbled everywhere, singed eyebrows (my camping stove is frighteningly unpredictable) and bruised limbs (from tripping over cats who refuse to believe they're invisible in candle-lit gloom).
Still, I do enjoy having the baboons around, and they're normally well-behaved. We did have a couple of tense weeks when I first moved in. The baboons lounged on the garden fence taunting my madly barking dogs, and every now and again a swaggering adolescent male would leap down and dash across the yard; dogs in frenzied pursuit. I didn't witness the denouement of this saga (thankfully), but I suspect it was painful for both parties: the baboons now stay well clear of the fence and my dogs pointedly ignore them, refusing to chase any baboon, even when we're out walking.
Of course I know baboons can be problematic. The youngsters love to play on roofs for example. On my iron shed roof, they beat out a rackety tattoo as they leap and wrestle, but on my landlord's roof of thatch, they clasp fistfuls of straw as they race up and down the steep pitch, tearing out great tufts of roofing as they go.
Still, others have it worse.
|Hmm, I've never driven an automatic before... Photo by Tim Ellis.|
The driver of this car pulled over to photograph the view on the scenic drive to Cape Point (the peninsula south of Cape Town). Unfortunately, the car doors weren't locked, and the baboon opened a rear door and hopped in. This photograph was taken after the driver and passenger had fled out the front doors, leaving their car to the baboon.