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Hunting Fishing Laughing

A wonderful life we had - Bert,     Ethel    &     I –
70 years back.    ( Bert was 6,    Ethel was 3,
I - fatty - was 4.)

***

An old man
frizzy haired negro
guarded & directed us.
( His name I remember was Prince. His grandfather
was the tribal chief.
His father - taken as a slave -
was merely a blur in his mind. )

Our family lived near the harbour - Sydney, Australia.
Here was a marvellous extraordinary place,
inhabited we thought by crocodiles & alligators,
surrounded by elephants & tigers.

We frequently fished
instructed by Prince
with strings
pins & sticks for piranhas
& often we captured
parrots under sieves
or in wire boxes.

Prince was a Zulu
able to run like a horse
( his muscles rippled as he ran ).

We could see that this old man was an indomitable
Fighter, hunter, warrior.

From the day he arrived he lived in a hut
the other side of our lawn

but on April 1st 1910
he was moved by our Mum to the comfort
of the washhouse
next to the kitchen.

Presently we were led in
one by one
‘Just for a moment ' she said. . .
‘HE’S A SPLENDID OLD MAN
be nice to him!

He spoke most of the night
about all 3 of you.
He's
anxious to say goodbye to you.’

He didn't hear us when we said our thanks to him.
I brushed a tear
& muttered
‘HE’S BACK IN HIS FOREST AGAIN
taking up where he left off

HUNTING     FISHING     LAUGHING’

Note

Surely everyone looks back sometimes to somebody or something. I cannot speak for the others.

But occasionally our negro nanny shines for myself very enjoyably BRIGHTLY in a depressed & dark place.

I run for a second, quickly & happily back, aged 4, loudly shouting to the old chap busy with hook & line in his jungle by the fishpond.