‘Buffel, the Elephant Seal’ by Ms Paige Turner
At the beginning of the year (a tagged) Buffel swept up on Fish Hoek Beach, which is around 20 miles from the Cape of Good Hope. He took up residence to shed his old skin and get a brand new one. Mister Justin Case and I had hoped that he would stay until we got here in February so we could see him snoozing as we walked the mile long beach to Clavelly. But alas, the day we were due to fly from Heathrow it was reported on Facebook that Buffel had ‘disparu’. Hours later, before we swallows took flight, this was reported as ‘fake news’. Buffel had just gone to take a swim in Skellies Pool nearby and was back on our track. Here’s what the Fish Hoek Beach daily chalked report said of him:
‘Advice from Buffel, the Elephant Seal on Chalkboard on the Beach’.
Spend a month on the beach every year.
Forget the banting diet and try moulting.
Growl if anyone wakes you.
Occasionally have a swim in Skellies Pool.
Enjoy Fish Hoek Beach.
Swim every day. Rest …
Travel to faraway places.
He waited until we arrived and took our first beach walk the next day. Then he was gone: skin moulted and new one rendered him ready to go. It’s kind of what we hope to do when we swallows drop in your valley: moult and re-new. Thanks for waiting for us, Buffel: magnificent creature that you are. And you know what? Bet you don’t spend thousands of rand on Botox and Fillers …