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.
See also: New Writing Contest Announced – Win R1000, fame and fortune and glory.
FOSTER Finds Illegal Snare
Most of the trails and paths in the FOSTER-managed reserves are looking in great shape. The maintenance team hard at work cutting back, trimming, and fixing the paths and trails in readiness for the holiday season and the expected influx of visitors. This means higher usage of the network of trails.
It is only through the generous support of our members and donors that the Seal Point, Seal Bay, Cape St Francis Reserve, and the Irma Booysen Reserve can be kept virtually alien-free. Thus we can continue our ongoing maintenance programme.
While working near the Irma Booysen Reserve entrance off Osprey Street, the team stumbled upon a snare. This is a first for a very long time. We need to nip this in the bid as quickly as possible to protect our fauna in the reserves. Further, we have caracul, bushbuck, genet, porcupines, bush pigs and duiker roaming the reserves. So, we will need resources to fight this if more snares are found.
Open day at the Shipwreck Display on 20 November
Our area’s latest tourist attraction, the shipwreck display at the entrance of Cape St Francis, has drawn a lot of visitors to the Irma Booysen Reserve. FOSTER has received a lot of positive feedback as a result.
Dave Bowmer is our reserve manager and the brainchild behind the display. So, Dave has offered to hold an open day at the shipwreck display on 20 December. He will have more artefacts, books and other interesting information about the shipwrecks and the fauna of the Irma Booysen Reserve. He will be there from 08h00 waiting to tell you fascinating stories and enlighten you about our reserves and FOSTER‘s work; see you there!
See also: The Anchor Garden and Shipwreck Display
Photo Of The Day – Baby Turtle Heading For The Ocean
© Rick Pearson
See also: The Big Blue
See also: Van Life Eksé
24 November 2023
Win Cash and Beer with St Francis Today and The St Francis Brewery
St Francis Bay: The local daily newsletter and website in St Francis Bay, St Francis Today, has two competitions running, with money, beer and beer vouchers as prizes, which are all quite lekker wins.
The first content is the St Francis Today writing competition. St Francis Today calls for entries into the writing competition if you are an experienced writer or a novice, young or old. The rules are simple. Between 500 and 700 words per entry, entries must be with St Francis Today before the public holiday on 15 December, and we will announce the winner by the end of the year. The winning story will get published in the print magazine Wildside TIMES. The winner also banks a lovely R1000 cash. Our last winner was Liz Spowart; her story is in this Christmas edition of Wildside TIMES.
The second competition is the Write an award-winning comment, win cash or beer.
Then, to get our comments section rolling, we are offering R1000 for the best comments over the next 30 days or so. We are looking for sharp, witty and insightful commentary. We will delete all the all shit comments.
On top of this, St Francis Today has partnered with the St Francis Brewery to give away a case of beer for the Funniest Comment until 15 December. We are looking for something that will make us laugh out loud. The winner gets a mixed case of St Francis Brewery Beer, and the runner-up in the giggles division gets 4 x beer tasting vouchers from the Brewery valued at R340.
Get cracking, send in those stories and comments, entertain the editorial staff and readers, and hopefully win prizes.
See also: Win Cash and Beer