Most of you know that I am not a farm girl, at all. What most of you don’t know is that we lived on a game farm once upon a time for about 6 months. My MIL wanted to buy the farm and as Shaun and I didn’t have any where to stay, we volunteered to stay there while she decided if it was the right fit for them. The farm had two houses on it which were surrounded by an electric fence, and a big gate that led in the “park” as we called it. It was…big. I can’t remember how big but we used to walk the loop and it was 5kms around, with about double that area up the mountain. There were a variety of animals on the farm, Kudus, Impala, Jackals, Warthogs, that kind of thing. So here are a few stories of our time there, for me to remember and for you to enjoy:
The one with the scorpions in the bath
Somehow, one day we came home to two huge scorpions in our bath. I had never even seen a real scorpion before at that time, and now I was faced with two, in my bath tub! Lots of squealing and standing on the bed crying ensued and eventually after coaxing Shaun down from the bed and drying his scared tears (yes yes I’m joking) we got rid of them. By we, I mean he (Shaun). I may or may not have stayed on the bed crying while he did it…
A week or so later Shauns little brother proudly produced a glass jar with about 3 scorpions in it. I was not amused.
The one with the shocking shower
One evening while we were getting ready for bed, I was brushing my teeth and Shaun was in the shower when suddenly ZAP! He had gone to turn the tap off and it had shocked him! A big proper shock! Still not sure how it happened but we both got a huge fright.
The one with the salty water followed by no water
I’m still not sure the ins and outs of this situation, but for some reason we had no water for about 2 weeks. Something to do with the pump and the bore hole and all that farm stuff. So we would stop past my MILs house and fill 2 25L bottles up with hot water from her tap and a 5L bottle up with cold. We would then race home and pour it into the bath and both have a bath while it was still warm. We then used that water to flush the toilet for the night. We did that for a long time. Then (and again I don’t know why) the only way to fix the pump was to put a LOT of salt into the water source (It sounds crazy now and it sounded crazy to me then, the water came back on though) so now we had water that was so salty that we would have salt in our hair after a shower and if you had a cut or something it burnt like crazy. It was crazy. We deal with that for a few weeks as well, until it worked its way through the system
The one with all the snakes
Oh the snakes. I came home from work one day and our one dog, Piko, was barking at the tree. I ignored him while I emptied my car but eventually went to investigate and was greeted with a shiny green snake. I grabbed Abby my little sausage dog (I had already lost a sausage to a snake bit a year earlier-wasn’t taking any chances) and ran inside and locked the door. Once I calmed down enough I screamed out the window for the gardeners to come and help me. I’m not going to tell you exactly how they got rid of it, while I cowered inside.
We also dealt with 3 puff adders. Those things are really scary because the hissing noise is so loud, it’s almost like they throw it away from themselves and it sounds like they are sitting right next to you when they do it! They also twitch for a long time even after they are dead; all the nerves keep twitching for about 2 hours…
I would still take a snake over a spider any day
The one with the poachers
One night Shaun and I were in bed watching CSI when the people in the neighbouring farm called saying that they had seen lights in the park side of the property. We had found a Kudu carcass on the side of the road a few weeks before so we immediately suspected poachers. Shaun (aka Rambo) jumped out of bed, yelled “stay here!’ and ran out the door to the car clutching his torch and a pepper ball gun. This didn’t sit well with me, I immediately burst into tears (SIDENOTE: I know I come across as a cry baby but of the 6months we lived there I spent most of the time taking a lot of rescue and being scared out of my mind, I don’t like wild animals and I don’t like the dark and the farm had lots of both) and insisted on going with. So I get into the car, clutching my cell phone in my pink fluffy pyjamas and tear stained cheeks. I immediately phoned his mom and told her to stay on the line in case we are killed. Yes I am THAT dramatic. I have never been so scared in my life. Picture this if you will, it’s VERY dark; we are flying around the park with no lights on because Shaun wants to sneak up on them. At this point I am besides myself and absolutely terrified, rhino carcasses and pangas running through my mind, so I start screaming out the window. I was too scared to form words so simply screamed. Hoping that they will hear us coming and run away! Shaun is screaming at me to shut up and I’m just screaming and crying and being ridiculously dramatic. Eventually he gave up and went home, now not talking to me and thoroughly pissed off (like I cared, I was still convinced a poacher wielding an axe was going to attack us). That night I slept with every single light on, in case they broke into the house. I got up every half an hour to check. Worst night ever.
The one with the flood
We had a lot of rain for a week or so and had to take our mad home the one afternoon, as we were driving along the dirt road to town our car got stuck! It was pouring with rain and Shaun had to get out and push, the water was around his knees when he got out the car to push. Took ages but we eventually got out. Full of mud!
The one with the dog hunting warthogs
We used to walk the 5km loop every night after dinner with our three dogs, Maxi and Piko, a Labrador and a Chow, and Abigail, my little sausage dog. They loved running freely around and Pikos favourite was to chase the buck or warthog or anything, he would run after them and disappear for hours chasing them but was way too slow to ever catch them (there really isn’t much you can do to stop this, we tried. We tried a leash, we tried leaving him at the house we tried everything and he always found a way to get out, so we gave in). One day while we were walking, a baby wart hog broke through the fence a few meters in front of us and sprinted across the road, closely followed by its huge mommy; the three dogs took off and ran for them. The two big ones and little Abby yapping at their heels. Suddenly the mother warthog turned and charged! The two big dogs skidded to a halt, turned tail and ran in the other direction, but my sweet little Abby kept on going and couldn’t stop. That warthog was HUGE and Abby was Tiny. Shaun then charged the thing and threw stones at it and it ran off, but shew it was scary! Warthogs can be very dangerous; their tusks can do a hell of a lot of damage.
The one with the evacuation plan
When fire season hit I had another reason to freak out. I now had visions of us being stuck in the house surrounded by fire. Thankfully we only had one close call, and it wasn’t close at all. I got up every half an hour to watch the fire moving closer and closer and had decided if it reaches a certain point we would leave. I piled all our valuables (ID, important docs, GHD…) onto the kitchen table, ready for us to run! Thankfully we didn’t have to though.
The one with the rat
We had a single garage off the house with no door, just a brick shell where I parked my car and we kept random bits and pieces and the dog food. Shaun’s bakkie parked behind mine. So we had gone outside for some reason before bed (so it was very dark) and we heard a noise in the garage. We spent the next few minutes arguing over whether we should investigate or not and finally decided that we really should, in case it was something big or a snake. So we grab the torch and gung ho go into the garage. So he’s shining the torch around and we can’t see anything but keep hearing noises that we eventually track to the dog food bag. So now the bag is against the wall at the back of my car, in front of Shaun’s car. He opens the bag and as he does he YELLS and drops the torch which then turns off! I scream and jump onto the bonnet of Shauns car and all I can hear is him yelling and the dogs barking and oh the drama! Eventually he finds the torch and it turns out it was a rat in the food and it jumped out at him as he opened the bag!
We had a lot of fun and some funny and scary experiences but I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry, I dreaded going home and was scared constantly. I am not a brave person, and when faced with bush and wild animals I turn into a sobbing mess.