Okavango Alarm Clock

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It sounds as if a team of early workmen is taking hammer drills to solid stone when the hippos start to grunt their good mornings and hope you slept wells. The frogs burp and trill in overwhelming numbers; the cicadas chirrup a counterpoint. An elephant grumbles somewhere beyond the trees. The red-eyed dove introduces itself, as it does every day. “I am…a red-eyed dove,” it sings in its Andean flute voice. “Go away! Go away!” shriek the grumpy grey louries, known to all as go-away birds. The emerald-spotted wood dove quietly sobs, “My mother dead! My father dead! Everybody dead! Dead! Dead! Dead!” “Go away!” snap the louries. “Drink lager! Drink lager! Drink lager!” chant the hard-partying Cape turtle doves, for whom it is always six o’ clock somewhere. “Good Lord deliver us,” mutters the disapproving fiery-necked nightjar.

(c) Richard Senior 2014

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