Sheila’s new herd started off with four cows which we inseminated, so they went forth and multiplied.
Domino begat Chess, and a whole lot of other games.
Sherry begat Whisky, Champagne, Claret (begat Rouge), and a whole lot of other booze.
Ginger begat spices of every exotic variety.
No 4 begat one calf before she died of heart-water, so I can’t remember her name.
And of course the rest of the ark: Sheep, donkeys, rabbits, dogs, cats.
Nicholas and Timothy Simkin, Sheila’s boys, went to boarding school (they were day-scholars for a time, too) at Lord Milner School, Settlers, on the Springbok Flats and came home to this menagerie. They often brought friends to spend weekends with them. Rumour has it that they look back on this strange rural childhood fondly.
Besides the odd snake episode, one of the scariest moments was when the boys were living in one of the caravans before their room was completed. Timothy was alone in it, for some reason locking the door, asleep, when wind blew the curtain onto the candle.
What fortune that someone saw the fire! We pounded on the walls and shouted until Tim awoke to unlock the door to let us in and douse the curtain. Besides that, there was only a bit of scorching, but a few more minutes would have seen the whole caravan up in flames.