The Other 44

Last night, and the night before, I found myself staggering around the darkened back garden, armed with a fierce torch while I urged the two dawgs to complete their nightly ablutions.

The torch is a vital accessory during loadshedding, much like a nice string of pearls goes well at a royal funeral… along with an edgy black frock.

The staggering comes not from an excess of chardonnay, but rather the fact that the back garden has a significant slope, made even more treacherous due to dew because we have a jolly little stream a few dozen metres behind the fence.

This sort of darkness means you exist only in a narrow beam of light. And that crunch underfoot means that you just spiralled a marauding snail to its heavenly reward. The challenge was on.

I went on a snail-hunting safari.

44 hapless gastropods were rendered flat. Yes, 44. Buggers have been feasting their way through quite a bit of foliage of late.

And, tonight, during another bout of reluctant darkness, I ventured out to see if any more snails were out and about – possibly holding memorial services for their dearly departed aunts/uncles, sans pearls.

To my delight, I discovered that the cleaning crew had arrived. Dozens of shongololos (millipedes to you non-Africans). Tiny ones, ugly ones, ungainly ones, and the massive Don of Shongololos itself, tidying up in gastric delight on the remains of a cluster of ex-gastropods.

I love shongololos.


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