Harrison's one day of being a wildlife farmer

Marzeus von Hemelen By Marzeus von Hemelen, 25th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Drama

Well, Mother and I thought it's all happening rather too quickly and at too great a cost, but Father and Harrison decided to start farming with wildlife.

Harrison's one day of being a wildlife farmer

And what do you know, today is the day the first buck of sorts will be arriving, something that cost Father a quarter of a million rands.

Father and Harrison have had quite a fight with each other, because Harrison was supposed to see that the fences of the camp this buck needs to go into, was all ready and finished.

But of course Harrison with the way he is, didn't do much if anything about it. He sort of arranged things over the phone with Waldorf but today, the day that the buck arrives, it's not ready yet.

This morning at some other seller's farm, they went to get the buck that those people darted from a helicopter, and they brought it over but then their bakkie had to stay here with the buck on it in a crate because the camp the buck was to be let free in, was not finished.

The poor buck has to sit on a bakkie inside a crate for the duration of the morning until later in the afternoon, while everybody's finishing the camp in which it is to be let free in.

Even this causes a fight between Harrison and Father, because the poor animal was first in the sun (inside the crate at least) for many hours and it must have been ghastily hot and Harrison again had to be told by Father to move it into the shade before he thought of it; and then it started to rain heavily and again Harrison didn't think for himself that the animal might get sick being in the rain.

Anyway, at some point I walk past the garages and I see the bakkie in one of them with this rather small wooden crate on it.

Is this their buck, I wonder. It's that small?

There are only a few air holes in the crate and I try to look through them. I can make out that there's some kind of animal in there. Yep, this is the buck, a small little thing. Hard to imagine that it costs a quarter of a million rands.

Anyway, finally the camp is ready, the fences and some sort of fence upholstery up against it, and it's time to release the buck into it.

I get my camera and film it all.

They first carry the crate into the camp and then open one of the sliding hatches.

It takes a few moments for the little buck to realize it can now come out.

And when it does come out, good lord, that little buck becomes bouncy and reminds me of that movie Flubber in which the flubber jumps and bounces all over the place, going faster and faster.

The little black buck jumps and runs and jumps and goes crazy like a wild thing all over the camp. It runs far away until we can almost not see it anymore, and then it comes back and then it jumps probably three metres into the air and try to get over the fence. Fortunately, it doesn't go over it and bounces back and then runs and jumps all over the place again.

Well, that was fun, and we all think that the wildlife farm has so started.

Later on while I'm at my office, Mother calls. The buck is dead.

So soon???, I ask her. Bloody hell, that wasn't much of a wildlife farm was it? It sped past and now the wildlife farm's only animal is dead already on the same day it arrived.

I try to find out later what had happened. Apparently the buck wouldn't settle down; the seller or the veterinarian Harrison called told him that the buck shouldn't have been alone in the camp; even if they just put a sheep or something with it it wouldn't have kept trying to get out.

The veterinarian also says whoever sedated the buck did a terrible job. He says if it was him who had sedated it, that buck wouldn't have jumped like such a crazy thing and that high, for at least three days.

The little thing kept trying to bounce out and then, high as the fence is, it actually finally succeeded in getting over the fence somehow.

Mother and Auntie René saw it jump over into the West Wing garden, and called frantically for Harrison to come catch it.

But, during all the fence jumping and apparently hitting its head and catching its horns in another pallisade fence, it completely injured itself.

One of its horns broke off and somehow it had cut its face so badly that its mouth was a bloody pulp and it had cuts all over its body and what seemed like stab wounds.

The poor creature just about completely disintegrated itself with all that violent jumping and going berzerk trying to bounce through fences and bushes.

Harrison called the veterinarian who came out and tried to save the creature, but it died.

Harrison says it felt like he had lost his favorite dog. Mother says he almost burst into tears whenever he talked about it afterwards.

Well, that was the end of that then.

Fortunately the quarter of a million rand buck that's now dead, was insured, so they will only lose about forty or fifty thousand rands instead of everything.

But, when I ask Harrison a day or so later if they still want to do wildlife farming, he says he does. So, hopefully their next animals will stay alive for longer than an hour or so.

Harrison says he feels bad about something: When the buck got out, Auntie René went all panicky and wouldn't stop talking to Harrison about how they saw the buck come out and so on and on. He then told her rather rudely to just leave him alone already so he can try to get things together.

The thing was just too stressful for everybody.

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Animal, Buck, Deer, Wild Animal, Wildlife, Wildlife Farming

Meet the author

author avatar Marzeus von Hemelen
I like eggs for breakfast. I live on top of a hill inside a beautiful but old dwelling complex. I like to take life in through my senses and then give feedback through my writing.

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