Rhodesia gone forever - Books by Ben Bezuidenhout
Excerpts from the book

"This was all part of my growing up. I had learnt a great deal about climbing trees, about crows, about crow's eggs, about cuckoos habits, and whilst I was doing really bad things I was also learning some good things and the time would come when I realised what was right and what was wrong."

"The badger loves honey, the honey-guide loves honey combs. When these two team up, the bees better watch out as they are no match for these two honey buddies!"

"We loved our toad. Night after night he sat in his usual place on the lowest step and after dark, when visitors came to see us, as they approached the veranda, we would say to them, 'Mind the Toad,' instead of 'Mind the step!'"

"The day I shot that Lourie was the beginning of my conversion to conservation and looking after wild life, not destroying it. I put my guns and rifles away and devoted my self to the education of the public on matters conservation. My future had been mapped out and Grey Lourie, wherever you are - I thank you."

"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed."

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The famous Red Indian, by the name of Seattle was approaced by the President of the United States of America in an attempt to buy the Chief's land. His reply makes very interesting reading and is pertinent as we endeavour to explore the value of the outdoor experience.

"The Great Chief in Washington wishes to buy our land. How can you buy or sell the sky; the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us?
"Every part of the easrth is sacred to my people. Every shiny pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark forest, every clearing, every humming insect is holy in the memory of my people. How can you buy this?"

Through the years these people had discovered and developed those essential qualities, values and attitudes which made their land priceless to them. They had discovered the spirit of the water, the air, the soil , the plants and the animals, and it was all a part of them. Their attitude to the land they lived in was one of deep reverence and respect. This is the goal that we should all strive to achieve in our lives and it is a goal that will not be achieved over night. It will only be achieved through a lifetime of experiences. Therefore we must begin at the earliest age possible - our children.

How, then, are we going to stir a child''s interest whilst competing with the technological world we live in today?

We sometimes forget that a child is new. Almost everything he does is a first. The first time he whistles, the first time he lights a fire, the first time he feels suspense, fear, or enjoys applause. The first time he sees a butterfly, or tastes an apple or hears a dove cooing, or feels the warm softness of a puppy. These firsts should be fun; so much fun that they lead to seconds, thirds and fourths and on throughout his whole life.

Have the children sat by a stream and listened to the music the water makes; have they tasted the freshness of the water ? Have they experienced the spirit of the water?

It is not the water but the spirit of the water that counts. It is not the place but the spirit of the place that counts. All the bookwork and knowledge is of no value if the child does not experience these things; these intangibles and little incidents which remain vivid in the imagination forever.

Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, turtles, wild strawberries, chestnuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hay fields, pine cones rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets - and any child deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.

Children CAN, when someone shows them HOW, children WILL when someone makes it fun to DO.

Learning to use the five senses is the key that opens the door to the wonders of nature. Maybe the key has grown a bit rusty from lack of use, but soon it will get shinier than ever, when a child is at the door, waiting for someone to turn that key. Let's take him by the hand and go with him into the world of nature.

If a child loses this intimate touch with nature he becomes vulnerable to losing far more.

[ click to enlarge ]

Price: R70.00

   Ben Bezuidenhout, 2008. All rights reserved. Website by Brenda Cadle