I don’t think we have been formally introduced yet. My name is Linda and I live in the yellow house at Malalane gate with my family. I am sure you know who we are because you always come and show us your new piglets when they are born. Which we really appreciate. We always tell you how beautiful and cute they are. And our hearts go out to you and your family when we notice that one of the piglets is no longer with you.
So even though we have not formally met, we have peacefully co-existed in the place we call Malalane Gate’s staff village. Until a few weeks ago that is.
When I found you in our garden for the first time a while back, I though you had gotten in by mistake. The boys and I just came home from school and there you were with your family: last year’s piglets and also this seasons ones. I actually felt bad for you then. You got such a fright when we got out of the car! Alex, Jack and I carefully tried to usher you towards the gate that we opened wide without stressing you further. And once you finally find your way out, I thought that was going to be the end of it.
But I get the feeling now that the first time was not an accident at all. Because you have been coming in time and again after that. Mostly when no one is home. I get back from dropping the boys off at school or picking them up and then I see the gate standing slightly ajar. This is all good and well, but since you all started knocking over my chairs and my potplants, I have been increasingly unhappy with your breaking and entering.
The straw that broke the camel’s back is the fact that you have now all but destroyed my new Strelitzia. I was so chuffed when I found this big plant at the nursery at the N4 Turnoff! And every time it sprouted a new leaf, I got so very excited! But you have done so much damage I don’t know if it is going to survive.
Could you please tell me what it is in our garden that is so attractive to you? Is it the Marula fruit? It must be something fantastic because you are now even coming in when we are all home. I saw how you are doing it just now. You put your nose under our already flimsy gate (I already spoke to the elephants of Malalane Section about that), lift it and push it open! All while you are looking at me! The cheek! At this stage, you are even worse than the elephants!! I am very concerned that your actions will finish off our already damaged gate.
You have the WHOLE of the Kruger National Park. All 2 million hectares of them. Can I just have my fenced off little piece? Please?
I have written three more letters to our animal neighbours: Dear Elephants of Malalane Section: We need to talk! Dear Monkeys in our garden: We need to talk! And Dear Hyena’s of Wolhuter: We Need to Talk!