A is for Albie, and aardvark too, He’s unable to find one except in a zoo! He’s also an artist, and almost a genius his photos are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!

B is for beauty which is clearly held in people and nature and mountains and veldt.

C is for cheetah and crocodile grim. The former runs fast and the latter can swim.

D is for Africa’s beautiful dawn, heralding joy as a new day is born.

E is for elephant – what else could it be. They have right of way in the Bush you’ll agree.

F is for Freda, a mother and spy, who watches poor Albie with many a sigh. His manners she worries are not up to scratch, but actually better you’d find hard to match. G is for giraffe, a rhyme hard to find. They are graceful and gentle, elegant and kind.

H is for hyrax whose ancient par-ent, was an ancestor of our large tusked elephant. Also the hyena, an ugly old thing but cheeky, mischievous and thinks he is king. I is for insects of which there are loads I hate them as much as I dislike the toads.

J is for Jackie, an aunt by adoption, to avoid her bad jokes there isn’t an option. Her skills with a camera get better and better by following Albie’s advice to the letter. K is the K in Laikipia spelling, reminding me where my friend Peter is dwelling.

L is for leopard and lion and others. All can climb trees and will fight with their brothers.

M is for Mia whose generous cuddles makes leave-taking tears form enormous deep puddles. She sleeps where she sits and gets up like a lark and is as precious as that damned elusive aardvark. N is for nightjar who sleeps on the road, but Albie can’t catch one despite what we’re told.

O is for ostrich, a bird with long legs. Both male and female sit on the eggs.

P is for Petla who just like her Dad is good with a camera and jokes that are bad. In English or Afrikaans, either will pass and the command of both languages impresses her class. Q is a question – will I come again. The chances are nil hence this final refrain.

R is for rivers- in Africa lots – they yield opportunities for good photo shots.

S is for snakes with which Albie’s obsessed. They give Freda nightmares and disturb her rest.

T is for tortoise, slow it would appear – but they can win races never you fear.

U is unusual creatures you find, like white tailed bush babies and things of that kind.

V is for vultures, they clean up the Bush but not without many a shove and a push.

W is for wild dog and waterholes rare. Both photogenic but cannot compare.

X for the kisses that everyone sends to show all the world that we have become friends.

Y is for yellow billed stork – the poor “fella” has to go round with a nose that is “yeller”.

Z is for zebra to complete the list. Each one of these alphabet things will be missed.

But I’ve had forty years to enjoy the above. Now I leave them in peace with a slice of my love.

Jaqueline Strong

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