Don’t Fence Me In


Last Sunday morning, as I gazed in wonder at the beautiful bushbuck munching on aggies in our front garden, I was oblivious to the little bugger’s intentions with regards to our allotment. She has virtually annihilated every vegetable that managed to survive winter thus far, plus a newly planted bed of broccoli and cauliflower. I didn’t begrudge her the agapanthus because they will grow again come Spring when she moves on. However I do resent the fact that she took advantage of my naïveté and goodwill and left not a single edible thing behind.

In the words of the Band’s Robbie Robertson:

Now, I don’t mind chopping wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
You take what you need
And you leave the rest
But they should never
Have taken the very best

(The Night They Drove old Dixie Down)

Next year I hope to be better organised and plant rye grass in the field as winter feed for the buck. In the meantime I think we may have to enclose the allotment to keep her out, as much as I don’t want to do that. She must be hungry. Oh, I hate to be in conflict with nature!

You know, it breaks my heart to see what has happened in the country in the 14 years since we built our house here. In this short space of time I have seen the number of game dwindle drastically. I can remember large herds of buck grazing on our and neighbouring land as they migrated backwards and forwards from the Lowveld to the Highveld. Now there are electrified game fences all over the show, including 3 sides of our property. How I hate these game fences. One of the things I loved in America, as we travelled through Maine and Virginia, was seeing houses butting up against forest without a fence in sight. I moved to the country to escape the confines of city life, but others have chosen to bring those confines with them to the country. And I’m afraid they are the ones who call the shots here.



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