| Journey woman
Brenda Newell is a retired history teacher who takes every opportunity
she can to "be on the road with friends". One of her fondest
memories was spending Christmas Eve in Bethlehem when lovely
wet snow was falling. One of her scariest moments was when she
fought with a baboon in South Africa. Brenda writes...
South Africa, one time, our guide/driver took us to the
Cape of Good Hope. After an enjoyable morning we got back
into our van; D and M (the participants shall remain nameless)
in the back seat, I in the middle seat where I like to be
and J up front with the driver.
A few miles along
we saw baboons all over the highway and hills. We pulled
off the road and watched. J rolled down her window to take
snarled, I snarled!
Suddenly a baboon
shot through the window and landed in the back seat. I'd
automatically ducked my head and it was still down when
I heard "Brenda, he has your purse".
I looked up to see
this baboon (about the size of a six-year-old) hunched on
the seat beside me. He had a hold of the strap of my purse
which contained my passport and plane ticket. I automatically
grabbed the other end of the strap -- he pulled, I pulled,
he snarled, I snarled. He grimaced and I was suddenly very
aware that his halitosis was overwhelming and that he had
a mouthful of very sharp-looking teeth.
yanked the baboon's tail!
In the background,
M is yelling at our guide "unlock the doors -- unlock
the goddam doors." M slid the door open, and yanked
the baboon�s tail. My knees collapsed and with heart
pounding fiercely, I plonked down on the seat.
The enraged baboon
shot out of the van clutching my purse, ran for about
200 yards, then sat to enjoy his spoils. Cars and vans
had had to stop and one couple assessing the situation
started their car and then drove it straight at the
baboon, which took off without my purse.
Our guide, who
did admit later that she should have told us to keep
our windows closed, was the same one who, when we finally
convinced her that we were heading out of, not into,
Durban, merely drove over the highway median to head
in the other direction. But that�s a different nightmare.
| Editor's Note: Brenda
says she laughed about her experiences once everything
was all over but she also admits she had terrible dreams,
always punctuated with mouthfuls of very big teeth.
words about fear...
is an emotion indispensable for survival.
(Eugenie de Guerin, 1865)
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to
(Marie Curie, Instant Quotation Dictionary, 1969)
Afraid is a country with no exit visas.
(Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us, 1986)
To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the
tail and swing you around is another.
(Katherine Paterson, Jacob I have loved., 1980)
To everything there is an end -- except fear.
(Phyllis Bottome, Innocence and Experience, 1934)
Source: The New Beacon Book
of Quotations By Women