On our farm, as a young boy, I remember we had this old dog. I can’t remember what breed he was, except that he looked like a pure-blooded cross between a warthog, a gremlin, and bad cold.
Half deaf, half blind – with vast tracts of uncultivated skin where his hair no longer grew. His name was Mogul. But my brother called him Apache. “He’s got a patchy hair here, and a patchy hair there,” he used to say.
Mogul was unbelievably ugly, but unbelievably lovable. I cannot remember ever hearing old Mogul bark. Not even once.
The day he died, we had a proper burial service for him on the farm. The Boere and their vet Boere-tannies and their snot-nosed children, came from miles around to attend the funeral *ceremony. (Or so I thought. The real reason, I only found later – was that they came to drink my old Man’s imported whiskey.)
So what brought on my nostalgic memories of old Mogul? I’ll tell you:
Looking in the mirror this morning, I saw vast tracts of uncultivated skin on my head; where my hair no longer grew. I had my glasses on, and could only hear the birds singing outside, if I concentrated really hard.
For a moment I thought: “The horror! The horror! Mogul has been reincarnated in me!”
“Why are you staring at the mirror as if you’re reading Heart of Darkness?” asked the wife behind me.
“No, nothing, love. I was just thinking.” (Thank God for this woman – Mogul nearly had me there…)
Lately, once I get to thinking on a certain subject, my mind seems to wander. Thinking of Mogul’s hair, and what I’ve got left of mine, and the roadkill that some of our “lady” parliamentarians wear on their heads – I got the thinking of Barbers. (No, Sakkie. Not those snake-like monsters you try to catch at Harties. I’m talking about “Hairdressers.” And they’re not all moffies, no matter what you may think. This is not Uganda, you know!)
Why is it that we have open warfare when whites want to get into the taxi industry? Why are there no white taxi drivers?
Why are nearly all the till operators at Pick and Pay, and other retail stores, black?
Why do blacks not hire whites to work in their gardens? (If I needed money, I would do this job at the drop of a hat.)
And finally, why is there not one Moerse Hullabaloo of a Protest, because barber shops cut hair along racial lines?
You tell me!
I’ve got a **black friend who spent many years, during the struggle, overseas. On his return in 1993, he once said something which made a moerse lot of sense to me.
He said, and I quote: “Since I’ve come back, I’ve notice something strange. The white people’s dogs bark at black people. The black people’s dogs bark at white people. We will only live in peace with one another in this country, the day the dogs stop barking.”
This got me thinking of old Mogul. He never barked. Maybe he was years ahead of his time. Or maybe he just thought that it was a waste of his time.
Who knows …
*ceremony – There was no pomp. There were children around, remember?
**black friend – You see! You see! I’ve also got one!
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