The good Turn that went very wrong Part 3

After I dropped the children off, I took Beehive straight round to the clinic.  We had a very good Dutch doctor there who spoke excellent English. I explained what I thought the problem was and he took Beehive off to examine him.  He agreed that my stable lad suffered from epilepsy and prescribed a medication I had given to children in the school I had taught in in England.  We next visited the chemist and the cost of the tablets to last Beehive a month, was a fraction of the money that he had been paying to the sangoma or witch doctor.  He was so thrilled and I felt that I had done my good deed for the day.

However, I had not taken into consideration the reaction from the sangoma, when he heard, as of course he would, and he was not pleased.  I had deprived him of one of his best paying patients.  A few days later, one of my first horses, called Kojak, had his mane and his tail cut off. The head stable lad, Hardstone, who I never trusted, told me that this had been done for muti [medicine].  He seemed to think the situation very funny.  I did not.

I was sad about Kojak, as when Jeremy had first bought him in Gabarone, he had very little mane and tail, cropped to help avoid the ticks and so on when he had been used to herd cattle from the north west of Botswana to the corned beef factory in Lobatse.  During the time Kojak had lived with us, his mane and tail had grown back and he was looking so much better, now his incredibly bad haircut made him look disheveled again.

As if that was not bad enough, a few days later, I noticed that Kojak had no energy, he was sluggish and seemed to have trouble walking.  He was definitely ill, and I did not know what to do about it.  Both Francistown vets were away at the animal border fences and were not due back for several days.  I began to wonder if Kojak would survive.

The Good Turn that went very wrong – Part 2

As I walked round to the back of the Land Cruiser it was to see Beehive hanging off the hunting seat head down having what I correctly saw as an epileptic fit.  The children were also having fits of their own, but purely in fright at seeing something strange and frightening . Having worked with many children suffering this condition I had an idea what to do.  I managed to lower him into the back bin and put him on his side in the recovery position.  When he had come round he was absolutely distraught.  He was terrified that I would fire him then and there.  How had he worked as one of the stable boys for over six months and this was the first indication I’d had that he was epileptic?   He’d been self medicating with medicine [the locals referred to it as muti] which he had obtained from the local witchdoctor or sangoma.  Previously 80% of his monthly income had gone straight into the sangoma’s pockets.  But like most services, inflation had caught up and now he could only afford enough muti to keep his fits under control for half the month.  I had the answer, but it was going to cost me dearly.  [Another cliff hanger in case you did not notice it].  More next time.


I’m having big problems with Twitter so you may have a problem connecting to that.  They have suspended my account and I have no idea why.  I am appealing – and this before I could even find my way around the site.  I think the problem is the opening which was “Hi Everyone.”  Maybe they thought I was trying to follow everyone?  I only wanted ot keep in touch with those who have bought my book and add extra info.  I’ll let you know what happens.

Quick update

This I had to share. Got a notification from Amazon today and my first royalty cheque is on its way!! OK it’s not for a fortune, but it’s very rewarding. I only hope that all the people who have bought the book have enjoyed reading it. I’ve had quite a bit of positive feedback. Only wish I had more time to write. Something always seems to keep happening – like the oven refused to turn on tonight, so tomorrow it’s empty the fridge [large size] try to wriggle it out to try and find the oven plug behind it. I need more time!!!

The good turn that went very wrong

I want to use this blog to write some of the stuff I did not have space for in the book. I mentioned that I ran the worst riding school in the world, and that is true. How many other riding instructors have you ever seen at work with a copy of the Pony Club Riding Manual stuffed down the front of her jodphurs?
I would pick the children up outside school at two pm and drive them back to the stables. In those days I had this old, very old, beaten up Toyota Land Cruiser with an open bin on the back and a hunting seat welded up high behind the cab. There was always great competition as to who could ride on the seat.
I had as many stable hands as I needed but one day a small guy appeared at the end of our road. He had fled from Zimbabwe and his clothes were so threadbare they failed to cover even the important and private bits. I did not have the heart to turn him away and employed him. He was the best of all the guys, worked harder was the most reliable and so on. However one day as we were driving back at the beginning of the afternoon there were loud screams from the children behind. I slammed on the brakes, jumped out and went to see what the matter was………….
[this is called a cliff hanger right?] more in a few days, watch this space!
I can promise you I really did run the very worst riding school in the world. more about that later.