By Simon Haigh

In the beautiful St Francis Links, there lived a very special snake named Stirling. Stirling was a friendly, bright green boomslang with a cheerful personality. He had a cosy little burrow under the shade of a giant fig tree, where he spent his days playing gentle tunes on his tiny flute.

The Links was home to a community of animals, each with unique talents and habits. One sunny morning, Stirling the Snake decided it was time to share his musical talents with them.

A wise old owl named Pard.

He slid out of his burrow with his flute and began to play a melody that echoed through the fynbos. Soon, a crowd gathered around him. There were bushbucks, mongooses, birds, tortoises, and even a wise old owl named Pard.

His music had a magical quality that made all the animals happy and carefree. They danced and clapped, forgetting all their worries and fears. Stirling had cast a spell of joy over them.

A group of young animals, including Tim the tortoise, Beth the Bushbuck, Mauro the meerkat and Hein the hadada, wanted to meet Stirling as they hoped he would teach them music.

The four of them approached and saw him playing his flute with closed eyes, completely lost in the gentle sounds.
“Hello, Stirling!” Tim the tortoise called out in a friendly voice.
Stirling the Snake opened his eyes, which were twinkling warmly. “Greetings, young friends! What brings you to my humble home?”

Beth The Bushbuck

Beth, the beautiful Bushbuck, spoke up, “We want you to teach us.”

Stirling chuckled, “I’d be delighted; now, the magic of music is not just in the notes but in the feelings it stirs within you. Close your eyes and let my melodies fill your hearts.”
As he played his flute, the youngsters allowed the enchanting music to flow through them. They felt a connection with each other and with the world around them.

Hein The Hadada

The youngsters decided to form a band of their own. Tim wanted to play the drums, but his legs were too short. Beth hoped to play keyboards, but her feet were too big; Mauro wanted to play the guitar, but his claws were too sharp; and Hein wanted to be the lead singer, but everyone said NO; your voice would frighten everyone away!
Stirling thought for a minute and said, “I have an idea. Hein can be the drummer and can peck on Tim’s hard shell. This will make a lovely sound. Beth can be a backup singer and a graceful dancer. Mauro can stand on his back legs and play the keyboard. “What shall we call the band?” asked Mauro. A voice came from above; it was Pard, the wise old owl; he said, “You sound like The Awesome Foursome to me.”

Soon, all the animals listened. The once quiet bush became a lively, musical haven where every creature contributed. Enemies were forgotten, and new friends were made.

Magic In The Ordinay

Stirling said, “My friends, magic is not just in the extraordinary but also in the ordinary when we create something special and beautiful. There will also be future occasions when you hear our songs, and you will be taken back to events way in the past. You might have forgotten the occasion, but songs always remember when and why.”

And so, in the heart of The Links, the tale of the friendly boomslang and his magical melodies lives on, inspiring everyone to develop the magic of music within themselves and share it with others.

Always listen for the beautiful sounds of the special birds and animals of The Links.

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