Africa can be dangerous

Africa can be a dangerous place

This event dates back to 1953 when I was fourteen. My memory is a little hazy as it was told to me third-hand by the doctor at the hospital where the victim ended up.

One day, our victim (I will call him Hendrik) decided to go fishing so his wife drove him to his ideal spot and dropped him off. It was half a mile walk across the veldt (bush) to the river. He started to fish and stepped back onto a snake which bit him on his lower leg. It was a poisonous snake, but probably not a Black Mamba, or a Boomslang (a very poisonous tree snake) as these would not have enabled the rest of the story.

He quickly tied a tourniquet and, as he knew the mail van came past every Wednesday, he very slowly and gingerly made his way to the road. He was in the process of passing out when the mail van arrived, picked him up, and rushed him to the nearest hospital where the doctors managed to save him.

The mail van driver called a couple of days later to find out the patient’s progress. He said to Hendrik, you are a very lucky that I was passing by. “Oh” said Henrik, “I knew you came along that way every Wednesday so all I had to do was to get to the road”.

The mail-man looked aghast! “But, I come by there on Thursdays! The only reason I came Wednesday was that floods were forecast for the next day!”

Life can be very mysterious and move in strange ways.