Stories and Traveltips

ID #5164

Muskietejag, a Poem by A D Keet, South Africa.

A favourite poem. Get someone to translate it for you ….

Jou vabond, wag,
ek sal jou kry,
Van jou sal net ‘n bloedkol bly
Hier op my kamermure.
Deur jou vervloekte gonsery,
Deur jou gebyt en plagery
Kon ek nie slaap vir ure.
Mag ek my voorstel,
eer ons skei,
Eer jy die doodslag van my kry -
My naam is van der Merwe.

Muskiet, wees maar nie treurig nie,
Wees ook nie so kieskeurig nie,
Jy moet tog ééndag sterwe.
Verwekker van malaria,
Sing maar jou laaste aria -
Nog een minuut vir grasie.
Al soebat jy nou nòg so lang,
Al sê jy ook: ek is nie bang,
Nooit sien jy weer jou nasie…
Hoe sedig sit hy, O, die kreng!
Sy kinders kan maar kranse breng,
Nóu gaan die vabond sterwe…Pardoef!
Dis mis! Daar gaan hy weer!
Maar dòòd sal hy, sowaar, ek sweer -
My naam is van der Merwe!

I mention this poem because (a) it captures, perfectly, what happens in the dead of night when one is pestered to distraction by mosquitoes,  (b) it is a marvellous example of how vibrant a language Afrikaans is. Unfortunately the humour and timing do not always survive translation -- you have to be quick, and  (c) it is possibly the origin of all Van der Merwe jokes.

Alan McIver 

Incidentally there is a way to avoid being pestered by mosquitoes all night. No -- dont poison and kill every living thing with DDT. Buy an oscillating fan and install it so that it sweeps over one's head and arms every minute or so. Apparently (a) mosquitoes are attracted by our body odour, which is how they find you, and (b) some are more attracted to human body odour than others.  Smelly feet and ankles are a particular favourite. But if you install a fan it blows the odour away and they search for you in vain. But make sure the rest of you remains covered, even if only with a sheet or they will get you on the ankles. 

 

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Last update: 2014-02-28 22:24
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.13

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