Pony tales

Whoever coined the phrase “fact is stranger than fiction” couldn’t have had a very good imagination. Inspired by the “Bigfoot” legend sweeping through North America, the humans in our part of the world are concocting ever more far-fetched stories to attract the tourist dollar. I suggest they kidnap the UN ambassador’s wife and release her naked in the jungle to start a “Bigarse” legend, but they scoff at my lack of ambition.

It’s my own fault. Ever since I showed them the centauress on EmmaK’s blog (pictured above), they’ve been set on luring men to the Congo with fables of four-legged females who whinny like mares when they are covered. They say it’s a common fantasy of the human male to have wild uncomplicated sex with a woman who won’t judge his performance and gallops off into the distance when it’s over. This may be so, but are there no limits to what people will believe nowadays? Doctored photos of a pony-girl would not have induced Buffalo Bill to rush to the Congo with lasso in hand.

Even if the ploy is successful, I don’t believe they’ve thought through the consequences. Whatever you say about the safari business, it has always been a relatively genteel affair. We have mixed touring parties, including quite a few courting couples, so even the roughnecks among them know to mind their manners and chew with their mouths closed. If we start advertising the presence of these frolicking fillies, the ambience will swiftly degenerate into that of a mining town during a gold rush. Our sublime natural haven will be overrun with unshaven desperadoes, well-versed in the language of the tavern, firing their six-shooters into the air. It won’t be long before gambling dens and whorehouses spring up, corrupting the younger fellows and sustaining the older ones in their lechery. We don’t need that of sort of thing in this unspoiled part of the world.

In any case, inventing cock-and-bull stories to attract gullible tourists is a self-defeating tactic. The Scots milked the Loch Ness monster for all it was worth, but what good did it do them in the long run? Nothing but a lot of off-colour jokes about their parsimonious behaviour. We Africans, who live amid the wonders of Nature’s munificence, have no need to resort to such underhand methods. I will tell my human friends to forget about spreading rumours of neighing nymphs and consider instead the possibilities of cabaret. Let us appeal to the cultural discernment of the connoisseur rather than the unnatural lust of the debauchee.

We could start our shows by getting girls from the local tribe to do their bottom-shaking dance to the beat of the bongo drums. This would be followed a series of top-class variety acts: the tap-dancing chimpanzee, the snake-handling baboon, the squirting bull-frog, etc. For the finale, I would be willing to come out of retirement to perform one of my popular circus acts. Gorilla Bananas has never shirked from pulling his weight to satisfy the nobler appetites of his human cousins. Donning my scarlet pantaloons, I would mime to the greatest hits of Sinatra, Aznavour and other exalted crooners of human folklore. I’d like to see anyone talking about shagging pony-girls after that!

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