Monday, March 30, 2009

Living on the Donkey Cart Highway

A man on a brown horse races by, off to nowhere, enjoying the speed for its sake only. A group of seven children tied together with a thin rope, run up and down the dirt road laughing. A young, very pregnant woman in a fluorescent orange T-shirt pulled taught across her big stomach passes too near the fence and the barely walking toddler accompanying her gets a big fright from my dogs which he doesn’t realise are shorter than him though have a bark as big as an elephant. The woman doesn’t comfort the baby. He screams all the way down the road in protest. A single sparrow, after all these days, sits at my bird bath, then looks at me with a face that says-where’s the water? Two donkey carts, wooden and unpainted, each pulled by four unmotivated donkeys, are piled high with watermelons, sticks of sweet reed hanging out the back. They rattle along headed toward the village; an old man is in the driver’s seat (is there a driver’s seat?) of one but a young girl holds the reins. The white corolla with a flapping rear fender tilted precariously to one side goes back to where it came from filled to overflowing with passengers. A black and white crow sits on the pillar complaining in his crow voice but only his friends can understand. A baakie coloured a blue that screams 1970, moves gently over the bumps in the road. The khaki dog, his left leg he’d been limping on now healed, walks slowly along the front of the wall driving the dogs insane with jealousy. He flaunts his freedom like a woman in new shoes.

The donkey cart returns empty.

This is the view out my window today.


Helen Ginger said...

How colorful is your view! And compared to mine, very exotic.


Lauri said...

It's funny how exotic is normal for me. I'm sure your window would seem exotic to me too.

groovyoldlady said...'s the view out my window.

The rain drizzles down lightly onto the sodden, melting snow. There's a slight breeze ruffling the evergreens.

A cranberry red sedan zips into the driveway across the street. A chubby man (woman?) clambers up the steps to the porch then disappears into the house.

A white Jeep goes by. A tan station wagon goes by.

My bird feeder hangs limp and lifeless. I keep it it filled - oh look! A grey sedan going the other way! - um, the feeder, yeah - I keep it filled, but other than the occasional cheeky chickadee, the birds ignore it.

A crow flies from somewhere low into the trees behind the house across the street.

Silence. No more cars. Show's over!

Too bad the husky wasn't loose. She always makes life more interesting. It was pretty cool the other day too when the neighbors started a bon fire REALLY close to their garage...Nothing today, though. Boring. Ordinary. Peaceful.
A red pick-up truck goes by.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

A powerful writer indeed. just using your environment. sound so natural and free. though with a touch of modern activity.lsk

Lauri said...

Groovy- Like your view. The birds are ignoring my bird feeder altogether- not even a chickadee- which is a bird I like but we don't have here. They have got used to the bird food thrown on the ground by the kitchen window now that's where they wait.

Rosie- I'm afraid your definition of discipline and mine differ. I could never live in a place where riding a donkey cart is restricted by law and counting passengers in a car is a main preoccupation of police officers. I love personal freedom too much I'm afraid. As for leaving the house -I do it every morning when I walk into the bush with my dogs. And for classes at UB- it is 200 km away- not up to that schlep I'm afraid. To be honest I love my alone time- too much noise and running around outside. Who can write with that?

Anonymous said...

Makes me miss the village!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lauri,

you have not been probaly in Austin,TX,have you?
I drove from Dallas to Austin in 2002 and despite beeing used to Freeways,running through the city,I found the center of Austin very steril...
There are some nice places in Austin along the river or outside, at Lake Travis.

As for German customs...they LOVE LAW and ORDER.
Ordnung muß sein!say the Germans.

Actually I think,Ian Khama as a military man,wants also to instil
discipline in probably no more donkeys on the street and pregnant women have to stay at home until they give birth.
(just kidding!)

Anonymous said...

I have always believed that there are hundreds of stories to be found from the window. I do it all the time.

My favourite part was the sparrow giving you attitude at the bird bath.

A wonderful view!