Ollie came running up to Obby and greeted him with a big wet lick across his entire face.
‘UGH,’ Obby wiped his face.
‘You been walking with Toby I see,’first patting him,before pulling the brambles off his coat.
Toby joined them on the rocks and said ‘Hi’ as he sat down.
Toby was a boy of few words and a good and trusted friend to Obby, even though Obby irritated him at times with his ‘know all attitude’ but as Mrs Sidebottom often reminded him that Obby was a’spirit’ of the earth and a ‘sailor’ of the seas which made him special, mythical and different,and they were fortunate to have him as their friend.She also reminded him about the good people of Hermanus who knew of his existence but never spoke of it-it was the towns best kept secret.
After a while of just sitting , Obby piped up,‘Do you know it’s the year of the rooster?’
‘I don’t believe in horoscopes and stuff like that, its all made up anyway. I’m like Uncle Yitzhak, we are men of science ,’ he said in his usual serious tone.
‘Sounds like a band-MEN of SCIENCE,’ he teased, ‘What instrument you play?’
Toby just ignored him.
‘Well let me tell you a story, science man.’
Toby rolled his eyes at Ollie, who was lying on the ground under the shade of the rocks, as if to say here we go again. Ollie’s ears pricked up, he liked a story.
‘ Cyril, you know Cyril, Cyril Macdassie?’ Obby asked him
‘Yes, I know who you are talking about, that dassie friend of yours who loves fashion and hangs around Walker Bay getting fashion tips from the tourists.’ Toby replied.
‘Yes, small correction, my rock hyrax friend. I’ve told you before, show some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and call him by his proper name,’ Obby scolded him.
Ollie looked down.
‘Well, we decided that we wanted to go on an adventure-it was the last day of the old year and Cyril had heard that there were going to be lots of traffic officers catching people speeding on the N2, so we got up really early before Mr and Mrs Macdassie woke up and we walk all the way to the Highway.
When we got there, we found a a place, with a ‘roosters eye view’.
‘Don’t you mean a bird’s eye view?’ Toby asked
‘No, A Roosters eye view!’ he emphasised, It was just the perfect place because you could see the cars speeding in the distance along the straight part of the road and they didn’t know that the traffic officers were waiting for them just around the bend. And when they did see them it was too late and they were pulled over and got speeding fines.Cyril and I took bets who was going to get caught and I got it right most of the time,’ he said proudly.
Toby, thought to himself, ‘Here we go again.’
‘ But we were having such fun that we forget to keep track of the time.’
‘ How do you keep track of time when you don’t even have a watch?’ Toby asked him.
‘I don’t need a watch, I look at the sun’s position,’ he answered.
‘Cyril started to cry because he knew that he was going to be in big trouble and would be grounded from going to Walker Bay to entertain the tourists for at least a month, and I was supposed to have supper with Mrs Sidebottom because she said she would be asleep before midnight and wouldn’t see the New Year in singing ‘ Old Slang Shy.’
‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Toby corrected him.
Obby ignored him and carried on with his story.
‘A miracle happened,’ his voice full of excitement,’the traffic officers pulled over a blue Toyota Avanza, and guess who got out?’
‘I don’t know,’ Toby said.
Ollie looked at his owner excitedly, expecting him to have a guess.But nothing.
‘Thabo’s mother, Miliswa!’Obby exclaimed with great excitement.
‘And there was Thabo sitting in the back seat looking embarrassed as his mother was trying to explain to the traffic officer that her foot got stuck on the accelerator, and it was all down to her new shoes which had bought at a flea market and that she is certain that the right shoe is smaller than the left one and she couldn’t feel her toes because she thinks it cut off the blood supply and she didn’t realise that she was pressing the accelerator so far down. The traffic officer just carried on writing the ticket.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse for her, the rooster she had brought back from the Eastern Cape had managed to free itself and took flight inside the car, and poor Thabo got the fright of his life and opened the car door to jump out,along with the rooster.
His mother was shouting at him to catch the bird which was half running and half flying in our direction and you should have seen the panic on Thabo’s face as he was running as fast as he could after the rooster with his mother telling him to run faster, and then I drew my slingshot…’
and before Obby could finish his sentence Toby said in a shocked voice.
‘ You killed the rooster!’
Even Ollie stood up.
‘No. don’t be silly, I just winded it.’ He sounded very pleased with himself.
Both Toby and Ollie sighed with relief.
‘And when Thabo saw me and Cyril in the bush with the rooster at our feet he got even a bigger fright.’ Obby told them laughingly.
‘We then carried the bird back to the car, all three of us, and when Ma Miliswa saw us she told us to get in the car and never to speak of what just happened.
So my man of science let me just say that Cyril got home before his mother sent out the search party, and I was in time to have supper with Mrs Sidebottom and guest what?’
‘Oh no not again,’ thought Ollie, his owner doesn’t seem to get this game.
‘ Mrs Sidebottom and I stayed awake to sing , Old Slang Shy and at midnight the Rooster crowed.’