Stories from South Africa by Maretha Botha

Today we are so lucky to have South African author, Maretha Botha, sharing one of her wonderful stories with us. Maretha is going to be a regular contributor and her stories will appear each Sunday.

So, read on and make sure you come back or sign up for more wonderful, and exciting stories from South Africa!

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha

A young man went on a photographic safari to Botswana, somewhere in Southern Africa, hoping to photograph something unusual.

He shared a small house with a few news reporters. On a hot Friday afternoon, he was relaxing in his easy chair. Non-stop hooting from the garbage collectors’ truck startled him.

They showed him something which was stuck in a 25-litre empty paint bucket, urging him to buy it. He was curious, but not keen to part with his money. He saw something which looked like a rock inside the bucket. He tried to lift it out of the bucket, thinking, What sort of a rock is this then?

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
Mystery of The Moving Rock

He paid for a rock!

Yet, rather than leaving it any longer in the hot, noisy and bumpy truck, he bought the rock for one hundred Pula, about $10.00. With a struggle, he gently tipped the rock out.

It was beautiful and different: flat at the bottom and curved at the top. It was also heavy, but he carried it to a nearby rockery where it would be safe among the aloes and succulents.

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
A safe place for a rock!

Meanwhile, a few sparrows, two crimson-breasted shrikes and a lovely hoopoe came to perch on a nearby fence. They chattered, tweeted and flapped their wings, looking back and forth at the strange rock which slowly moved into longer grass, leaving a flattened path behind.

Nearby, the chickens also squawked, cackled and pecked at each other, while keeping their beady eyes on the moving rock. The young man realised that the birds had never seen such an unusual sight, so he took quite a few photographs.

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
Curious Chickens

The rock gets a thorough inspection

Goats grazing on the other side of the fence confirmed that the rock was indeed something special, not often seen by humans or even animals and birds living in the area. The goats took no chances, but the bravest of them – an old, long-horned white goat – came forward to inspect the rock first.

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
The Old Goat makes his move.

Unfortunately, he lost his courage, so he moved back a few steps – just as if he was reversing, but not taking his eyes of the rock. He kept going backwards and forwards for about five minutes, while the rest of the goats looked on. Then all of them copied the old goat’s comical square-dance, staying far from the moving rock.

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
Goats following the leader

A moving rock!

On looking closer at the moving rock, the young man realised that he had bought a rare endangered leopard tortoise.

The young man noticed that the rock was limping and wondered how he could prevent it getting caught again.

Being in that narrow bucket did it no good, yet it happily continued enjoying its freedom, ignoring all the surprised animals and birds.

Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha
The rescued leopard tortoise

About Maretha Botha



Trails and Trials: An African Adventure – Fauna Park Tales (Kindle Edition)

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Mystery of The Moving Rock by Maretha Botha

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