Sunday, 1 August 2010

Her People

A sunny late winter's day found us in Olifantsfontein (which I mispronounce in my English accent all the time, causing my Afrikaans friends and colleagues to go "Where?") at the Pitbull Federation show.
We were without the dogs, as the bakkie they travel in is awaiting a new engine - so no new photos, sorry. As if you all wait with bated breath for the next ego-centred upload of my furry friends.

The weather was so mild as to remind us that spring is just around the corner - Imbolc celebrations kick off next week here at Epona Coven - and at times I was quite overcome by the long-lost sun, and had to sit down on the grass next to a patch of wild Perlagonums and chat with them awhile.

As I scanned the crowd I began to realise something. There were men with long locks tied back in ponytails, women with luxuriant unbound tresses of black or gold, plenty of black was being worn with varying amounts of bling, children were sitting on their canine friends, pulling their ears and  sleeping next to them in the shade of pavilions. And everywhere the Pitbulls - heads proud, muscles rippling, an occasional challenge from one male to another, making lots of noise. At times you'd be forgiven for concluding that this was in fact a barking competition instead of a conformation and agility show.

A woman wandered past us with a heavily-muscled canine friend on a leash, heading for the ring. Her path was blocked inadvertently by a slender woman handling two male dogs. A posturing, snarling competition started up between the dogs, all teeth and drawn-back lips. The woman with the two males ordered her friends to sit, while the first woman gave her pal a sharp rap across the nose. Rarely have I seen such instant submission from a four-legged animal as the first male rolled his eyes imploringly at his mistress, and crouched low in apology. I exploded with delighted laughter - where else but at a Pitbull show?

The thing which had been building for hours in me was apparent at that moment - we were in the presence of that great Goddess, Hecate. She was there upon the field and in the ring - for these are Her people, and Her animals, and this is one of Her most beloved places - in the company of brave, loyal, loving dogs and their wonderful human friends and protectors.

Pic: Scylla at a show last year