African tales – zorilles

August 25 – Ronnie Marx and I were friends on Lower Gwelo Mission, Southern Rhodesia, back in about 1941. He lived with his folks across the river from the mission, where his folks had a trading store. We both attended the little school with just three missionary kids, with the mission nurse, Miss Furber, as our teacher. Ron had a big brown dog, Jumbo, and I had a smaller dog, a fox terrier whose name was Happy.

There is an African animal that looks and acts and smells just like a skunk. They say it is not a skunk, though, but rather a zorille or zorilla. These little animals were quite common on the mission by night, and were often at odds with our dogs. They would growl and snarl at the dogs and spray them if they got too close. Of course we always knew next morning if our dog had molested a zorrille.

Every Wednesday evening, the missionaries would have a little prayer meeting in one of their homes and the Marx family would come from across the river and join the meeting. One Wednesday evening Ronnie and his dog Jumbo came over early and we two were out in the dusk with our dogs, and they discovered a zorille on campus and proceeded to attack it. Of course it sprayed the biggest dog, which was Jumbo. Now Ronnie was not all that keen on being stuck in a prayer meeting that warm evening, and decided to have a good reason not to be. He proceeded to rub himself well against Jumbo and share the bad smell and as a result, was not allowed in the prayer meeting! Hmm, now why didn’t I think of that? – DALE

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1 Response to African tales – zorilles

  1. Tammy Hill says:

    The zorilla is actually quite a beautiful creature…even though quite a stinker!


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