Try some Br Bert Theyre delicious They taste like peanuts was the call from

Try some br bert theyre delicious they taste like

This preview shows page 104 - 106 out of 136 pages.

"Try some, Br. Bert. They’re delicious. They taste like peanuts," was the call from grinning, munching Sebastian. This Bantu had a delighted face, twinkling eyes and a mouth surrounded by remnants of ant wings. I retrieved another irritating specimen caught between my glasses and left eye. It looked as big as a bee as I held it by the wings pinched between two fingers. It curled its abdomen up towards its head. I just couldn’t do it; I couldn’t put it into my mouth. Sebastian solved the problem for me by shoving a couple into my mouth, like a kid giving me sweets. If you can ignore the scratching legs on your tongue, the taste, after a couple of crunches went from "not bad," then, "rather good", then "delicious!" From then on I was swiping for my own handfuls with the rest. The clean up came next morning. We were sweeping and shovelling out ants and their discarded wings by the hundred of thousands. It’s not good to eat the ants after they die. The swarming season lasted a couple of weeks. Then came the rains. Nobody ever got sick eating those meals on wings. A wedding is more like a season then an event. Weddings last for days. The usual wedding present is a live chicken. I also presented a shirt for the groom, a few yards of cloth for the bride and a couple of kilos of rice. There was never much food around. You have to wait your turn to be called into the mud hut to greet the happy couple, after which you join in the dance. The rhythm of the drums penetrates your whole being and the overflowing joy and fun of the guests is contagious. The dancing guests formed ever closing concentric circles till the dancers engulfed the sweating drummers. The drummers and their drums of all sizes were in the centre of a moving, circling, rhythmic-jumping, disc of humanity. I was snatched into the outer ring and half an hour later was still trapped and jumping inside the disc of ecstatic dancers.
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The wedding that I remember most vividly, was that of the chief’s son. They wanted meat and because the chief was also one of the most powerful local political figures, they obtained permission to kill a couple of buffalo. Arnold, a Swiss volunteer had his rifle and the police had his bullets. The police agreed to release six of his bullets for the hunt. He told me that a hunt might be on the next day and asked was I interested? "The police have already issued my bullets," he added. "Interested? Need you ask? My word!" gets close to the nature of my responses. Meat was something we had not seen for weeks and perhaps we could score part of the kill? It’s not a simple thing to go hunting in a State that has decreed it illegal for the local population. Lots of people are involved: a warden must be present to ensure the conditions of the hunt are kept; three trackers are needed to make sure we find the right prey; eight cutters to butcher the meat; then there was Arnold and I. We made up a party of fourteen. Everyone wants to go on a legal hunt, so we had to keep mum to keep the numbers down.
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