Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hemingway: Hunting His Hyena and Hunting His Lion

What’s going on here? I had hardly sent over my last blog post – describing some of my thoughts about the hyenas and the lioness we saw on the Lake Nakuru Safari – than I picked up my Kindle to continue with Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa and found myself at the section where he’s just ended the conversation with the German about hunting kudu. Then came the next day’s hunt and all the talk about the fisi and how M’Cola laughs at him as a hunter or bird shooting or even the religions that get talked about. And the fisi – the hyena brings the biggest laughs, not from the hyena but from M’Cola, who just can’t stop laughing at him.

And all about the hyena being a dirty joke and the bird shooting a clean joke but it’s all a joke to M’Cola. 

And then how is this for a veritable Hemingway first line (for a section not a book): “The evening we killed the first lion it was dark when we came in sight of the camp.” Heart-stopping, of course. Breath-catching. And then you go on and read about the lion shoot and how late it is in the day and how sun is too low and if the lion gets to cover and you shoot him “it would be too dark to do anything about it without a mess.” 

Suddenly my little pictures of my hyenas and my lioness seem sort of skimpy, I fear!  

Bless you Mr. Hemingway for writing so beautifully (and to think we share the same birthday!).

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