Had a bit of time on the plane and, inspired by Juburgers at the airport, decided to do a BBC-esque wildlife post. It’s just a bit of fun :o)
The Poppie, Latin name Dutchchickius Pretoriais, is one of natures most versatile creatures. Often wondering far from its natural home of South Africa’s East Rand, the Poppie particularly enjoys spending time in the Kingdom of the Zulu, a spectacular land of sun, sea and cheap alcohol – three substances used by the Poppie in reproduction.
I first spotted Dutchchickius Pretoriais during an early morning frolick as a teenager and have been fascinated ever since. Its lack of grace or sophistication kept me spellbound for hours. But there was nothing that could prepare me for the sound the Poppie made, a shrilly, high-pitched sound that is best described by Dylan Moran: “Like typewriters eating tinfoil being kicked down stairs.” Its accent is from years of in-breeding and its evolution from a beast best used to pull ox wagons.
The Poppie intrigued me as it loped across the Umhlanga Beach (or Hum-shlang-gar, as this one called it). It has clearly donned fake plumage atop its head – an almost white colour, but with hints of yellow and brown roots. Its skin was almost translucent, but in a chameleon-like manner it changed colour and got pinker throughout the day, before turning red by late afternoon. Dutchchickius Pretotiais had clearly plumped up lips and wore a covering on its eyes that was almost bigger than its entire face. Fascinating.
Perhaps, though, its most distinguishing feature is its family. The Poppie is known to breed regularly, and without much consideration on the appearance – or even gender – of its mate. It can regularly be seen in a Bull Bulls bikini with at least six gangly offspring close behind, the youngsters saying things like “mama”, “bakkies”, “biltong”, “rugby”, “bokke” and “waar’s papa” at regular intervals.
But inhabitants of the Kingdom of the Zulu enjoy having this strange creature in its land. For, you see, Dutchchickius Pretoriais brings with it a unique form of currency, known as Inflated Salaries (or sometimes We Wish We Had It). This is then offloaded to obtain meals, alcohol and sometimes even the most sought-after attraction: the surfer boy.
So, every December, the Poppie comes to the Kingdom of the Zulu, its most popular annual migration. And they will be welcomed – just not forever.