The other day, my dear friend Lionel was asking me if I would be writing continuations of my memoirs that I have written before. I answered him that I don’t like writing episodes, especially when my memoirs are flashbacks that prime my moods to put it in print.
Lionel is a handsome Malaysian engineer who is one of the few I respect, for his commitment to humanity. He doesn’t blog, but he is one of my new readers who have showed me that his handsomeness is not limited to his face but also in his heart.
So here is something that happened sometime back on my way to a work location called Bamboo.
I have often wondered why that place got that name because I haven’t seen any Bamboo trees around there and I presume that the name must be African slang.
My errand was to update some drawings by visiting the location and to mark the modifications that have been done and add it in the task book for trainees. It was not a hurry burry job and so I started from base camp at about 9AM in my pick up truck.
Bamboo is almost 25 km away from our camp and in worst seasons the road becomes a challenge to us, until it reaches the private road to the station.
I was almost half away in the private road leading to Bamboo station, when, for a second, there was nothing visible in front of my eyes…a total blackout.
When I opened my eyes I noticed that I was slightly off the road, neverthless not out of the road totally.
It was difficult for me to believe that for the first time in my life that I dozed off for a second, while driving.
That was close!!!!! Really really close!!!
If there was a vehicle around in front, the result would have been disastrous. I know very well what to do if you happen to doze while you drive.
I remembered the words of the instructor in my defensive driving course at Shell training centre long ago.
“Stop the car and get down and relax, walk around, if you have water in your vehicle splash it on the face and at worst case, take a nap at the driving seat for 5 or 10 minutes.”
I parked the truck properly on the right side near the shade of the small tree and got out of the truck and stretched myself, took a deep breath, splashed some water and walked around looking at the flock of white cranes that crowded around a nearby pool.
A few of them strolled away from the group but a bunch nearer to me, were watching me with their curious eyes.
I got in my car again and decided to take a small break by adjusting the alarm in cell phone for 5 minutes. I rolled down the window, adjusted the seat for a comfortable position and closed my eyes. Ten seconds might have passed as I heard the knock from some where.
Tuck! Tuck! Tuck! Tuck! Tuck!
I opened my eyes and looked at the windows…nothing!
Looked at my rear view mirror…nothing!
I straightened my seat and looked around…nothing!
I thought that may be it was just my senses playing with me. My cell phone will go in about another 5 minutes.
I closed my eyes again.
Tuck! Tuck Tuck Tuck
I got out of the truck…not a soul around the car. I walked around the truck.
The area was empty except a lone white bird standing underneath the truck pecking at insects from the mud. It didn’t even look at me.
A little away north was an oil well with its pumping accessories but no one was seen except those few pure white feathered birds.
The cell phone alarm went on in my pocket, freighting me; making me jump.
I cancelled the alarm and went in the pick up, opened the glove compartment, looking for a magazine.
Instead of magazine I found some left over of roasted sun flower seeds I brought from Khartoum. While Leaning back on the seat properly, I fingered the first striped black and white seeds from the small paper bag as I heard the unmistakable sound of knocks again; this time feeble but sharper.
I looked in the rear mirror and side mirror ….nothing there.
Turned my neck a 180 degrees and couldn’t find any a trace of any creature. All quite round me and the truck.
Tuck tuck….the knocking again!!!
I got out and did the same procedure…no body except the small pure white egret pecking at insects.
I looked at it with suspicion and it looked back at me with its small innocent eyes.
It is weird that no one was around yet somebody was knocking!
I got inside the car again and the knocking appeared from backside.
This time I waited for the next knock, looking at the side mirror and then I saw a flashy white movement through my side mirror.
It was the Egret knocking on the metallic bumper and the same time looking at the door and it waited for me to open the door to go underneath the car like an innocent baby.
I saw the mischievous bird moving in calmly under the car as I opened the door.
OMG! I couldn’t hide my laugh!
My laugh probably looked alarming to her, as it flew a few yards and sat staring curiously at me. (I don’t know if it is he or she but as it is so cute and me being male, I for the convenience will call it her)
I took out the packet of sunflower seeds and threw at it. Though freighted first, she came and pecked ate it, swallowing it one by one.
Now it was my turn to take a pic of this girlie!
I took out my camera and was ready in minutes. At the sight of the camera she got wise and went underneath the truck.
The moment I put my camera down on the seat, she came out to watch my moments.
Now I know it was playing with me
I took the camera out one more time, to make sure about her sequence. Yes, she jumped under the safety of the truck.
Now I know I need to take a pic of this naughty friend, no matter what!
I entered the car with the camera and I looked through the right side mirror, the little rascal was peeking out from the safety, with just its head out.
I kept quite and continued watching her through the clean mirror with out getting out. she slowly came out tiptoeing, all the while keeping her eyes on my driving side door.
I waited and watched. Now she seemed disappointed at my loss of interest and moved near the bumper and pecked it vigorously, and immediately jumped under the car again.
I didn’t move as I wanted her in my camera. I took my grey working gloves and slid it on my right hand.
Looking at the mirror I slid my camera out through the window with my right hand and positioned it towards the back of the car, my eyes focusing on the viewfinder through a reflection from the mirror. I adjusted the distance and exposure to make sure I get her clear without giving her a chance to see my hand. All done under 30 seconds, with just a hand and a finger resting on trigger and my gloves worked as a camouflage to fool her.
Now I saw her head coming out with caution.
A full minute she waited with just her yellow beak visible to me, looking intently at my door.
Seeing no moment, she came out fully away from the truck, with her neck leaning high to watch me in case I get out.
I pressed the trigger and got my first pic.
I thought she was going to will fly off; unsure … instead she moved further expecting me to come out any moment and I clicked again a second time.
I have her second pic here.
This time she heard the sound and in a second she was flying away from me and joined the group, far away near the pool.
I was sorry when she flew away.
She wanted to be friendly with me and I feel that I took advantage of her for a few pictures???
I think I am to blame!!!
BTW: I am taking a short break for 4 weeks. I may read you all, but I may not comment in your blogs, unless I have a post for you.
Who knows, I may post too !!!
Bye ! Bye !