About 1910 my father W.J. Dawson, known always as W.J., bought the Plains Dairy, that vast flatland where the Nairobi Airport is today. He and three other young Scotsmen had great times in the corrugated iron house he built there. The others were George Taylor, Will Jaffray and Sandy Milne. One morning my father, who was always particular about his early morning tea, spat out the first mouthful in disgust at the taste. He went outside and asked George Taylor if he thought the tea undrinkable. Taylor replied, “I hadna’ noticed.” Father called the servant and asked where he had obtained the water for the tea. Imagine my father’s reaction when the servant pointed to the tin bath in which all four men had bathed the evening before!
Belle Barker, Hermanus, South Africa
This story appeared in the October 2007 Only in Africa section of Old Africa
If you enjoyed this story, consider purchasing Leopard in the Kitchen, our book of short stories.