All day long he kept meeting honey-birds and following them; but he would no longer follow them into the bad places, for he could not tell whether they were new birds or the one he had robbed! When you think you are tumbling on to a crocodile there is only one thing you want to do—get out as soon as possible. By good luck the kick only grazed my arm, but although the touch was the lightest it cut the skin and little beads of blood shot up marking the line like the scratch of a thorn. There was very little wanton shooting with us, for when we had more fresh meat than was required, as often happened, it was dried as ‘bultong’ for the days of shortage which were sure to come. My friend maintained that that was how he knew his old dog was enjoying the joke against the cockerel; and that is certainly how I knew what Jock was thinking about once when lost in the veld; and it showed me the way back. Little enough could one realise in those first few minutes and in the few square yards around; yet there are details, unnoticed at the time, which come back quite vividly when the bewildering rush is over, and there are impressions which it is not possible to forget. There is a suggestion of grace and poise in the movement of the koodoo bull’s head as he gallops through the bush which is one of his distinctions above the other antelopes. Up!”; and whack went the stick! No!” urged the Jackal, “I will stand on a big ant-heap and hold my bushy tail on high where all will see it shining silver and gold in the sunlight.”, “Good!” said the Lion. The hot sun and strong wind had long evaporated all the dew and moisture from the grass, but the sap was still up, and the fire—our fire—seemed cruelly long in catching on. The writer has seen several of this length, and has heard of measurements up to fourteen feet (which, however, were not sufficiently verified); he has also often heard stories of men on horseback being chased by black mambas, but has never met the man himself, nor succeeded in eliciting the important facts as to pace and distance. On that day he had, as usual, been the one to see the wildebeeste and had ‘given the word’ in time; the rest was only one straight shot. Umtagati! Yes! Among the lounging diggers at their week-end deals he stood apart—too shy, too proud to tell the truth; too conscious of it to trust his voice; too hungry to smile as if he did not care! “Landela manzi, Umganaam!” (“Bring water, friend!”) was all he said; and each time the request was so quickly answered that I had the guilty feeling of being one in a great conspiracy of silence. Ordinarily the weight of the chain and yokes was sufficient to keep them in place, but when there were lions about, and the cattle liable to be scared and all to sway off together in the same direction, we took the extra precaution of pegging down the chain and anchoring the front yoke to a tree or stake. The cat was as big as either of them and armed with most formidable claws, which it had used to some purpose, for both dogs were torn and bleeding freely in several places. Jock van die Bosveld is 'n ware verhaal deur die skrywer, Sir James Percy Fitzpatrick. Yet, the marvel of it is always fresh. We were both tired out, hot, dusty, and very very thirsty; but it was too late to hunt for water then. Jim’s excited gabble was addressed with reckless incoherence to Seedling, to me, and to Jock! The mountain tracks were rough and all unknown; the rivers many, cold and swift: the country wild; none lived, few ever passed, that way. It seemed useless to delay longer; the whole length of the body was showing, but it looked so wanting in thickness, so shallow in fact, that it was evident the crocodile was lying, not on the top, but on the other slope of the sand spit; and probably not more than six or eight inches—in depth—of body was visible. What always seemed to me so curious and full of meaning was that he never once looked back in the direction of the unwounded game, but seemed to put them out of his mind altogether as of no further interest. Yet it is the first sight that remains with me: the proud head, the huge spiral horns, and the wide soft staring eyes—before the wildness of panic had stricken them. Jock of the Bushveld - For a little way the pace seemed as great as ever, but it soon died away; the driving power was gone; the strain and weight on the one sound leg and the tripping of the broken one were telling; and from that on I was close enough to see it all. There was a day outside Barberton which I remember well. Still, there were other chances; and I thought of very little else all day long, wondering if any of the good ones would be left; and if so, which? It was Jim who told me of Sam’s desertion. He taught them manners, but they taught him something too—at any rate, one of them did; and one of the biggest surprises and best lessons Jock ever had was given him by a hen while he was still a growing-up puppy. “You have talked enough. BULTONG, or Biltong (pronounced biltong) (n), meat cut in strips, slightly salted, and dried in the open air. I felt sorry for the long nigger and was going to interfere and save him, but just then one of his pals called out to their gang to come along and help, and ran for his sticks. After a dry and warm morning the sight of the big pool had prompted an off-saddle; Snowball was tethered in a patch of good grass, and Jock and I were lying in the shade. Some jib and pull back; some bellow and thrust across; some stand out or swerve under the chain; some turn tail to front, half choked by the twisted strops, the worn-out front oxen turn and charge downhill; and all are half frantic with excitement, bewilderment or terror. At last Ted noticed what looked like a tiny narrow strip of bark adhering to the outside of her lower lip, and this turned out to be the broken end of the quill, snapped off close to the flesh; not even the end of the quill was visible—only the little strip that had peeled off in the breaking. I have ridden in that valley many times since then through grass standing several feet above my head. SCHERM (pronounced skarem) a protection of bush or trees, usually against wild animals. If they had gone after the baboons they were as good as dead already—nothing could save them. Once more he raised his head aloft, and, simply and without a trace of surprise or gratification, said: “Yes, you are my chief, I will work for you.” In his own mind it had been settled already: it had never been in doubt. He waited for a minute or so and, without so much as a glance at her, said quietly “All right.” She was back again in a second and with one hungry bite bolted the lump of meat. I moved back for higher ground and, finding that the bed shelved up rapidly down stream, made for a position where there would be enough elevation to put in a brain shot. We who had hurried on to catch him, believing that the vengeance of justice depended on us, forgot that it has been otherwise decreed. The Aasvogel said nothing, but let his bald head and bare neck settle down between his shoulders, and closed his eyes. Snarleyow was with us—I had left Jock at the waggons fearing that we would get into fly country on the Umbelusi—and the bank was too high and too steep for him; he huddled up against it half supported by reeds, and whined plaintively. She jumped up at his chest giving a long tremulous whimper of welcome, and then ran ahead straight to the nest in the grass. Good dogs were not easy to get; I had tried hard enough for one before starting, but without success. It is a depressing but accepted fact that the ideal, lurid—and, I suppose, convincing—pictures of wild life are done in London, where the author is unhampered by fact or experience. The buffalo could not see him and never once looked up, but glared about at its own accustomed level; and, relying entirely on its sense of smell, it kept up the relentless vengeful watch for hours, always stopping in the same place, to leeward, to satisfy itself that the enemy had not escaped. After the two bombardments of the pigs and the fearful row made by the boys there was not much chance of putting up anything more, and we made for the nearest stream in the woods for a feed and a rest before returning to camp. It had not struck him to turn back. Nor did he speak or stir, but sat on unmoved, a picture of stoical indifference. Jock had several times shown that he strongly objected to any interference with his quarry; other dogs, kaffirs, and even white men, had suffered or been badly scared for rashly laying hands on what he had pulled down. Gun barr’l looks a mile long when you put yer eye to it! One never knows how these things are done or how long they take: I was back on the rock—without the rifle—and had the water out of my eyes in time to see the crocodile roll helplessly by, six feet away, with Jock behind making excited but ridiculously futile attempts to get hold of the tail; Jim—swimming, plunging and blowing like a maddened hippo—formed the tail of the procession, which was headed by my water-logged hat floating heavily a yard or so in front of the crocodile. If one of them made a sudden move, the whole lot jumped in response and swayed off down wind away from the danger, dragging the gear with them and straining until the heavy waggons yielded to the tug. No. The other boys had not expected anything when Seedling called the dog, and they were taken completely by surprise by what followed. That at any rate was my experience. They were not to be reassured, either: the only effect produced by our laughing comments and friendly overtures being that the head which deemed itself pointedly addressed would disappear completely and remain so long out of sight as to make us feel quite smothery and criminally responsible. From the tent of my waggon I saw him raise his head, and following his glance, picked out a row of bundles against the sky-line. I subsided gently on to my left side to see what it was that interested him, and to my delight saw a troop of twenty to twenty-five Blue Wildebeeste. The man who loses his head is really lost. The cattle had turned their tails to the storm, and stood it out. There was one lesson that he hated most of all. Now and again the huge creature stopped to sniff, snort and stamp, and then resumed the round, perhaps the reverse way. He did not know why; but there seemed to be something wrong. It showed the long prostrate figures of the others as they slept full stretch on their backs, wrapped in dark blankets; the waggons, touched with unwonted colours by the flames, and softened to ghostly shadows when they died; the oxen, sleeping contentedly at their yokes; Rocky’s two donkeys, black and grey, tethered under a thorn-tree—now and then a long ear moving slowly to some distant sound and dropping back again satisfied. From time to time you do meet people like that. My friend was greatly amused to see all the trouble that the fowl was taking to get up to the empty pot, and, for the fun of giving the conceited young cockerel a fright, threw a pebble at him. We heard the rush and the row, and scrambled down through the tangled woods as fast as we could, but they fought on, tumbling and rolling downhill before us, and when we came up to them it was all over and they were tugging and tearing at the lifeless black and white body, Jess at the throat and Jock at the stomach. On the second occasion they had enticed him on to the waggon and, as he lay half unconscious between bursts of delirium, had tied him down flat on his back, with wrists and ankles fastened to the buck-rails. Jock of the Bushveld Look, I enjoyed writing this because, hey, rants are fun but I don't like coming down this hard on a film that is essentially a little indie film by a group of South African filmmakers who had the unenviable task of trying to compete with the big Hollywood animation studios. For to fade slowly away; to lose his strength and fire and intelligence; to outlive his character, and no longer be himself! Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2010. A magnificent waterbuck bull, full-grown and in perfect coat and condition, was standing less than five yards away and a little to the right, having already passed me when he came to a stop: he was so close that I could see the waves and partings in his heavy coat; the rise and fall in his flanks as he breathed; the ruff on his shaggy bearded throat, that gave such an air of grandeur to the head; the noble carriage, as with head held high and slightly turned to windward he sniffed the breeze from the valley; the nostrils, mobile and sensitive, searching for the least hint of danger; and the eye, large and full and soft, luminous with watchful intelligence, and yet mild and calm—so free was it from all trace of a disturbing thought. For, those who were there already—hardened men and strong, pioneers who had roughed it—were themselves in straitened case, and it was no place for boys. Jock was still holding on grimly, tugging with all his might and always with the same movement of swinging it round him, or, of himself circling round it—perhaps that is the fairer description, for the porcupine was much the heavier. Perhaps they did not realise that the shots and flashes were not part of the camp fire from which they seemed to come; perhaps their system of never relinquishing a chase had not been tried against the white man before. Jock of the Bushveld is a very nice lodge. If I had fired off a gun under their noses they would have been much less startled. I paced the distance; it was eighty-two yards. Three of us fired together, and the buck rolled over within a few yards of where we stood. Jock was standing like a statue, leaning slightly forward but with head very erect, jaws tightly closed, and eyes looking straight in front, as bright as black diamonds. There is a certain courtesy and a good deal of formality observed among the natives which is appreciated by but few of the white men who come in contact with them. I thought that they had had enough of Jock for one day and that they would strike work and leave me, probably returning later on to steal the meat while I went for help from the waggons. Here and there a broad furrowed streak of red soil straight down some steep grass-covered spur was visible: it looked like a mountain timber-slide or the scour of some tropical storm; and that was all one could see of it from below. Jock was already closing up, but still unseen, and the noble old fellow turned full broadside to me as he stopped to look back. The poor little chap could not see a yard in that grass; and in any case he was not old enough to see much, or understand anything, for his eyes still had that bluish blind look that all very young puppies have, but he was marching along as full of confidence as a general at the head of his army. There was a scrambling bound from under the waggon, and Jim, with face distorted and grey with fury, rushed out. If they had not interfered with him he might perhaps have left them alone, as it was not his nature to interfere with others; but the trouble was they had bullied him so much while he was weak and helpless that he got used to the idea of fighting for everything. It was not long before we came upon the koodoo again; but they were on the watch. The rivers, fed from the replenished mountains’ stores, ran full but clear; the days were bright; the nights were cold; the grass was rank and seeding; and it was time to go. The old dog gave two gentle pats with his tail in the sand, and closing his eye went to sleep again. Between them, Jim and Jock had beaten me. It was a most surprisingly unreal sight: he looked like a caricature of Jock shot into the air by a galvanic shock. It is the only time I have seen a partridge in a tree; but when one comes to think it out, it seems commonsense that, in a country teeming with vermin and night-prowlers, all birds should sleep off the ground. I shall never forget that first view of Jock’s ballooning observations; it became a regular practice afterwards and I grew accustomed to seeing him stand on his hind legs or jump when his view was shut out—indeed sometimes when we were having a slow time I used to draw him by pretending to stalk something; but it is that first view that remains a picture of him. The burnt stubbly ends of the grass had pierced the baked leather of our boots many times; and Jock, too, had suffered badly and could hardly bear to set foot to the ground next day. There was a moment of ludicrous but agonised suspense! With one swing of his chopper he killed it; he took the skin off for an ornament, the poison-glands for medicine, and the fangs for charms, and then whistled and looked about for the honey-bird; but it had gone. “He is afraid you’ll get lost!” and so on; and they were still chaffing about it when I grabbed “The Rat” and took him back again. He had the knack of getting at the heart of things, and putting it all in the fewest words. When riding in the veld, or any open country, you will notice that some horses will want to take any turn off to the right, others always go to the left, and only very few keep straight on. I stood and faced the bush that Mungo had shied at, and the first thing that occurred to me was that my bandolier and cartridges were with the pony. The dog was still so dazed and shaken that he reeled slightly, steadying himself by spreading his legs well apart, and there followed a few seconds’ pause in which he stood thus; and then he began to walk forward with the uncertain staggery walk of a toddling child. He could not hear the rattle of the chain on the box and pole, and saw nothing of the charging brute, and it was the purest accident that the dog stood a few inches out of reach. We passed the second pool, loitering a few minutes in the cool shade of the evergreens to watch the green pigeons feeding on the wild figs and peering down curiously at us; then moved briskly into more open ground. For over half an hour, however, nothing came towards me, and believing then that the game had broken off another way, I was about to return to camp when I heard the tapping of galloping feet a long way off. We were about fifteen yards from the precipitous face of the krans, and had just worked round a huge boulder into a space fairly free of bush but cumbered with many big rocks and loose stones, when the dogs stopped and stood quivering and bristling all over, moving their heads slowly about with noses well raised and sniffing persistently. His deafness, which passed almost unnoticed and did not seem to handicap him at all in the veld, became a serious danger in camp. The report about shooting him was, of course, ridiculous—probably his own imagination—but it was some comfort to know that he was in such a state of terror that his own fancies were hunting him down. How each reed shaken by the river breeze caught the eye, giving me goose-flesh and sending waves of cold shudders creeping over me! Horns and skins lay in jumbled heaps in the yards or sheds of the big trading stores. E-pos 10 jaar 4 maande 1 week 3 dae 14 ure oud He called it “The Great Battle between the Things of the Earth and the Things of the Air.”. Then another tried his hand; but it was just the same. But the Boy pressed on—the little path a racing stream to guide him. But it was not that alone: there was something in Jim himself—something good and fine, something that shone out from time to time through his black skin and battered face as the soul of a real man. It was a fine sable bull lying in the shadow of one of the thorn-trees with his back towards us, and there was a small ant-heap close behind him, making a greyish blot against his black back and shoulder, and breaking the expanse of colour which the eye would otherwise easily have picked up. Old Charlie Roberts came along with his two waggons. He was stone deaf; but I did not know it then. The big eyes were blood-shot then, but there was no look of fear in them—they blazed with baffled rage. From where the slope was steepest we looked down into the bed of the stream at the bottom of the ravine, and the two dogs were there: they were moving cautiously down the wide stony watercourse just as we had seen them move in the morning, their noses thrown up and heads turning slowly from side to side. It was my comfortable belief at the moment that he had not yet spotted the buck, but was looking about anxiously to find out what was interesting me. But there was no time to feel sick and disgusted; the buck, puzzled by the report on one side and the smash on the tree on the other, half circled us and stopped to look back. That was the best, or at any rate the first, course to be tried. Buggins—that was his pet name—was a passenger returning to “England, Home, and Beauty”—that is to say, literally, to a comfortable home, admiring sisters and a rich indulgent father—after having sought his fortune unsuccessfully on the goldfields for fully four months. Beautiful Book! One foot struck him under the jaw close to the throat, ‘whipped’ his head and neck back like a bent switch, and hurled him somersaulting backwards. Jock of the Bushveld is a beautiful story that not many children read and definitely not here in Australia. It was our last day’s hunting together; and I went back to the dreary round of hard, hopeless, useless struggle and daily loss. Then came one black day as we crawled slowly along the river bank, which is not to be forgotten. ‘Hlala (pronounced shlala) kahle,’ farewell, stay in peace. I think this story should have been left as FitzPatrick first created it: a series of bedtime short stories for his children. Something would move and interest him; and when I saw him stand up and examine a thing at his feet, turning it over with his nose or giving it a scrape with his paw, it was usually worth joining in the inspection. You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”, The following afternoon I received an ultimatum. They seemed to be passing half a mile away from us; but in the stillness of the night sound travels far, and one can only guess. Which has it's good side, in that it gives you a good feel for the countryside and the amazing animals with their incredible capability to fade into the background - but once you've been given such an appreciation for them, it is hard to take the terrible gore of the actual killing. She was in great pain and breathed out faint barely-audible whines from time to time. 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