I have a little bit of Europe left, but I’m all Out of Africa


Literati!  And you thought Will Smith was just another pretty face!   He is actually Peggy Dobbs’ favorite author! Will is seen here with Nelson Mandela, a scant 15 years older than he, born in 1918. Do you need further proof that writing keeps you youthful?  If only Nelson were a writer! Here is what wikipedia has to say about him:

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. After the successful publication of WHEN THE LION FEEDS in 1964 he became a full-time writer, and has since written 30 novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books have been translated into twenty-six different languages.

So here is Peggy Dobbs’ second entry into our contest Wing Nuts:


by Peggy Dobbs

            If you win a contest to meet your favorite author, he does not come to you.  Rather, you are flown to where he is. Time to successful people, regardless of their occupation, is considered worth more than that of the average “Joe”, as we would say in the United States.

As the private plane landed near the huge hunting grounds in Zimbabwe, I recognized  the small figure of Wilbur Smith who was on Safari researching his latest novel.  Leaving his Toyota, he limped to the plane to welcome me to his homeland. The afternoon was spent getting acquainted.

As twilight fell, engulfing the landscape in every color on an artist’s pallet, we sat under a tarp, open on four sides, laughingly referred to as, “Wilbur’s Watering Well”. Every possible drink one could want was served by a tall, handsome Zulu dressed in starched white. Wilbur called him Shadrach. A large crew of black faces went about their allotted chores quietly as we dined sumptuously.

(A dejected Peggy Dobbs learns that she can’t get internet connection to A Word with You Press because there are just not enough bars! Gary Clark would like to help but apparently his hands are tied.) “What do you think of my Africa?”

“It’s exactly as you described in your books.”

“We will drive out in the morning to a spring. You can see the variety of animals here about. A herd of elephants was spotted near a wadi close to the spring today. I will be your Wingman”. He touched  the .416 banduki , I’d seen earlier.

Suddenly, knocking over my chair, I screamed, “Snake!”

Running, he shouted, “You’lll just have to wing it.”





39 thoughts on “I have a little bit of Europe left, but I’m all Out of Africa

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Peg, I love the take on this, the travel invovled is exciting. I am surprised your visit with Mr. Smith is as victorian as is written, but pleased. Is writing of Africa a fiction for you, or do you write from experience?

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      Mike, My husband was the adventurer, not I. I have all of Smith’s books, even the earlier ones, but going on a Safari would not interest me at all. I realize how “victorian” it is, I wanted so badly to be able to “modernize” it to some degree, especially more dialogue, but I just ran out of words. Then, don’t forget, I go way back…almost Victorian. Thank you for your thoughts. pd

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    I like that your story was about the sober living which included a variety of species rather than being locked into only the drunken, acting out human realm. The tensions were mild up until the end, but then snapped as a cliffhanger which left me wanting to discover more. The idea I liked most was that the famous writer doesn’t come to you, but you go to the famous writer. The exception to this is when that author is hawking their works for public consumption such as television interviews.

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      I wanted to see if the rules to this contest would work outside the “human realm”.The idea of winning a contest would be to go on Safari as well as meet your host. Just not enough words for me to add the crew that I am sure would accompany such a win. pd

  3. Parisianne Modert says:

    Thorn’s amazing once again and so is Peggy. I had to look up “.416 Banduki” from “Time to Die” by Wilbur Smith. The images of a Banduki (a word that covers a lot of different definitions in Africa culture and JT Edson’a neo Tarzan relative via Edgar Rice Burrows due to its’ language diversity which can mean banded or to band together) at first showed a style of hortizontal wrinkled dress. I thought, ‘Wilbur Smith’ tried to catch a snake in a dress he just happened to have on him?…O, Wilbur…does your wife know about this? Then, good for you followed by disppointed to learn that it’s a type of rifle. Poor snake! I bet the snake would look very fetching in the dress. Would Wilbur?

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      I don’t think he wanted to stay around to find out “anything” about the snake. Interesting, I was looking through “A Time to Die” to find the name of the rifle and looked it up on Google as well. pd

  4. Tiffany Monique says:

    Talk about six degrees of separation! I love the statement you make in the first line. It’s so much bigger than it seems. It speaks to success and to hierarchy… I don’t know. I just really like it. I wonder about Shadrach… how handsome is he, exactly? 🙂

  5. KYLE Katz says:

    Peggy, I’m so enamored with your range and scope of the human experience. Taking me on a safari was just what I needed for my longing soul to have more adventure. I am also a fan of Will and Jada Smith for their role in humanitarian causes. “Wilbur’s Water Well.” Immediately draws us a picture and I was personally engulfed by the landscape. I was very content sitting in my lounger as Taye Diggs(the black doctor on THe Practice)served me a cocktail. His skin contrast against the starched white…(.oops too much fantasy.)

    Back to the herd of Elephants. When you said Will “limping to the plane to greet you, gave me information…Did he injure his leg running from a herd of Elephants?

    And the quick ending from serene beauty to a sudden jolt, you still reminded us “it’s a jungle out there!” Thanks for taking me on your safari!

      • Kyle Katz says:

        I know you well enough to KNOW you are talking about your fridge and me loading it with a six pack of Sam Adams which you refer to as your stash of banduki.

      • 1948pdobbs says:

        Thorn, check out Kyle’s comment about “wrap”. You didn’t mean to imply that Will Smith was Wilbur Smith did you? pd

        • KYLE Katz says:

          Does this mean Wilbur Smith was not a wrapper in his day? He could have been. maybe his spoken word was poetry first and then he put a little hip hop spin on it when he was with his drinking buddies. Could happen.

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      Kyle, If I remember correctly, Smith was born with a deformity that caused him to limp.
      The contrast between the white and black would be extreme. Smith often talks about the Zulu and their height and velvet back skin. In his books the greeting between the protaganist and his right hand man (Shadrach or Denzel) is “I see you,Bwahna” (?) and the answer would be, “I see you, Shadrach”. It always intrigued me because it is so full of closeness, complete attention that we rarely get in our culture. Thank you for your comments. pd

      • KYLE Katz says:

        Peggy, thank you so much. I’m so intrigued. I have watched him as early as his wrap career and never knew about his limp. Which book would you recommend first? can’t wait.

        • 1948pdobbs says:

          Kyle, have you got Will Smith that Thorn refered to mixed up with Wilbur Smith? He is 75 years old, and certainly never did any wrap. reread his bio. pd

          • KYLE Katz says:

            May I borrow your Banduki now and shoot myself ? Whats with the picture of Will Smith? Oh Thorn, think you could rescue me on this one. Is this a form of public humiliation? We all need someone to laugh with..so come everybody lets all just sing, Go back to my posting and join in “Always look at the bright side of life.”
            Beer for everyone. Yes I’m still laughing!!!!

          • KYLE Katz says:

            I’m laughing so hard now, I’m in tears. My son is asking me what is wrong with me? I replied”ask Thorn.” This is not the first time I.ve been confused and dazed. Does this mean ‘Will’ doesn’t own a banduki? And your story is not about the fresh prince of Balaire?I’m sorry, my son has just asked me yelling from the other room from laughing so hard,,,am I mentally disturbed? i guess”Yes” is the answer. You mean you didn’t meet the Fresh Prince at the airport.Was the guy even Black? Oh Gawd. Not that I’m embarrased or anything. Does Lucille Ball come to mind? Just pretend I wasn’t here. So can ANYONE refer me to one of Will Smith books?

          • 1948pdobbs says:

            Lets blame it on Thorn, Kyle. I was confused too when I first saw the picture of the young Will Smith, wondering what the connection was to Wilbur Smith who is white by the way, married 4 times and probably no taller than Will Smith’s shoulder. Thorn probably had the banduki on his mind when he posted the “lead-in”. pd

  6. Jack Horne says:

    Love this, Peggy, and had a chuckle at the last line. Thanks for your comment – yes, I used a patchwork of Shakespeare quotes. Jack

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      Thanks Jack. I got a chuckle when I thought about Smith’s bravado with his rifle at hand, but caught unaware by something he couldn’t see but knew was dangerous, was another matter. pd

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