Search-icon

Zara's Tales

Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa

By

Hardcover published by Knopf (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
(2 REVIEWS)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
From adventurer, explorer, photographer, writer, pied piper Peter Beard—eleven irresistible tales, told to his daughter in his tented encampment at Hog Ranch, Kenya, about life, about living, about Africa.

He writes of the East African hills he came to know so well over four decades, where time slows to infinity in a great bottomless, bottle green underwater world . . . about Nairobi in the 1950s, still a quaint, eccentric pioneer town, full of characters of all stripes and tribes, where rhinoceros roamed the streets and local residents went to the movies in pajamas.

He writes of the camp he built twelve miles outside of Nairobi so that he would never be off safari, a forty-acre patch of bush called Hog Ranch (abutting Karen Blixen’s plantation), named for the families of warthogs who wandered into camp, a camp populated with waterbuck, suni, dik-diks, leopard, giraffe, and occasionally lion and buffalo.

In “Big Pig at Hog Ranch,” Beard tells the story of Thaka (translation from the Kikuyu: “handsome stud”), Hog Ranch’s number-one, fearsome, 300-pound warthog, who came into camp and dropped to the ground happy for a vigorous tummy rub, and who one night, “lying in his favorite position, munching on corn and barbeque chicken,” was encroached upon by a bristly haired, wild-looking boar hog. All three hundred pounds of Thaka exploded straight at the hairy intruder, the two brutish, bony heads crashing together thundering through the camp and Peter witnessed the unleashed power—the bullish strength—of the wild pig . . .

In “Roping Rhino,” Beard tells of his first job in Africa, rounding up and relocating rhinos for the Kenya Game Department with his cohort and neighbor, a weather-beaten native of Old Kenya who thrived on danger and refused to bathe—and of the enormous silver-backed rhino bull that became their Moby Dick . . .

He writes of his quest to photograph overpopulated and habitat-destroying elephants for Life magazine on the eve of Kenya’s independence . . . of his close encounter with the legendary man-eating lions of “Starvo” (descendants of the famed beasts rumored to be immune to bullets, who in the late nineteenth century halted the construction of the Mombasa railroad, devouring railroad workers and snatching sleeping passengers from their Pullman berths in the dead of night to make a meal of them), who charged the author, “coming in slow motion, like a bullet train erupting out of a tunnel, soundless, like an ancient force.”

He tells of his round-the-clock adventure tracking and studying crocodiles with a game warden–biologist at Lake Rudolf, a tale that begins with one crewmember being grabbed from behind by a ten-foot crocodile and another doing battle with an almost prehistoric monster fish—a 200-pound Great Nile perch! . . . and he writes of the final wildlife encounter that ended his safari days, an incident that proved Karen Blixen’s motto: “Be bold, be bold . . . be not too bold.”

Zara’s Tales confirms to our constant surprise and delight that “nothing out of the ordinary happens. It’s just Africa, after all.”
Show less
From adventurer, explorer, photographer, writer, pied piper Peter Beard—eleven irresistible tales, told to his daughter in his tented encampment at Hog Ranch, Kenya, about life, about living, about Africa.

He writes of the East African hills he came to know so well over four decades, where time slows to infinity in a great bottomless, bottle green underwater world . . . about Nairobi in the 1950s, still a quaint, eccentric pioneer town, full of characters of all stripes and tribes, where rhinoceros roamed the streets and local residents went to the movies in pajamas.

He writes of the camp he built twelve miles outside of Nairobi so that he would never be off safari, a forty-acre patch of bush called Hog Ranch (abutting Karen Blixen’s plantation), named for the families of warthogs who wandered into camp, a camp populated with waterbuck, suni, dik-diks, leopard, giraffe, and occasionally lion and buffalo.

In “Big Pig at Hog Ranch,” Beard tells the story of Thaka (translation from the Kikuyu: “handsome stud”), Hog Ranch’s number-one, fearsome, 300-pound warthog, who came into camp and dropped to the ground happy for a vigorous tummy rub, and who one night, “lying in his favorite position, munching on corn and barbeque chicken,” was encroached upon by a bristly haired, wild-looking boar hog. All three hundred pounds of Thaka exploded straight at the hairy intruder, the two brutish, bony heads crashing together thundering through the camp and Peter witnessed the unleashed power—the bullish strength—of the wild pig . . .

In “Roping Rhino,” Beard tells of his first job in Africa, rounding up and relocating rhinos for the Kenya Game Department with his cohort and neighbor, a weather-beaten native of Old Kenya who thrived on danger and refused to bathe—and of the enormous silver-backed rhino bull that became their Moby Dick . . .

He writes of his quest to photograph overpopulated and habitat-destroying elephants for Life magazine on the eve of Kenya’s independence . . . of his close encounter with the legendary man-eating lions of “Starvo” (descendants of the famed beasts rumored to be immune to bullets, who in the late nineteenth century halted the construction of the Mombasa railroad, devouring railroad workers and snatching sleeping passengers from their Pullman berths in the dead of night to make a meal of them), who charged the author, “coming in slow motion, like a bullet train erupting out of a tunnel, soundless, like an ancient force.”

He tells of his round-the-clock adventure tracking and studying crocodiles with a game warden–biologist at Lake Rudolf, a tale that begins with one crewmember being grabbed from behind by a ten-foot crocodile and another doing battle with an almost prehistoric monster fish—a 200-pound Great Nile perch! . . . and he writes of the final wildlife encounter that ended his safari days, an incident that proved Karen Blixen’s motto: “Be bold, be bold . . . be not too bold.”

Zara’s Tales confirms to our constant surprise and delight that “nothing out of the ordinary happens. It’s just Africa, after all.”
Product Details
Hardcover (176 pages)
Published: November 23, 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780679426592
Other books byPeter Beard
  • The End of the Game

    The End of the Game
    The Last Word from Paradise
    Originally published in 1965, and available once again in paperback, this landmark work dramatically documents the changing history of African wildlife, focusing on the widespread destruction of the African elephant. Beautifully illustrated with over 300 contemporary and historical photographs as well as dozens of paintings, The End of the Game is a legendary workvividly telling the story of explorers, missionaries, and big-game hunters whose quests have changed the face of Africa forever.

    Resist and Masking Techniques

    Resist and Masking Techniques
    The use of wax, paper, clay, and other materials to prevent the effects of heat, fire, smoke, chemical reactions, colors, and glazes from altering or contaminating the surfaces of work is very popular with ceramicists. However, learning to use these techniques can be a long and frustrating process, particularly when complicated by considerations of the state of the clay and the form of glazing to be used. In this book Peter Beard discusses the techniques of masking and resist and gives guidance as to how best to use various materials and firing methods to achieve a wide range of finishes.

    Longing For Darkness

    Longing For Darkness
    Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa
    Isak Dinesen and the land and people she loved are nowhere so real and compelling as in Longing for Darkness, written by Dinesen's majordomo, Kamante, and now boasting a smart new cover. Readers familiar with Out of Africa may recognize many of the enchanting stories. These celebrated tales and others are retold here from Kamante's perspective and are enhanced with his own drawings and letters, Dinesen's words and snapshots, and photographs by Peter Beard. Writes Beard, "Over a period of 12 years, as if divesting himself of his possessions, Kamante put down the extra dimensions of truth which are at the heart of Out of Africa."

    The Serra Effect

    The Serra Effect
    "The Serra Effect", is a project conceived by Drago for the 36 Chambers book series. The title alludes to the impact of Ivory Serra's gaze on the world. The result is portraits of characters, idols of the neopop culture. Among the icons immortalized by Serra are: Umberto Eco, Elisabeth Hurley, Tony Alva, Any Warhol, Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Aaron Rose, Mark Gonzales, Harold Hunter, James Taylor, Richard Serra, Jonas Mekas, Colin McKay, Phil Frost, Alanis Morrissette, Peter Gabriel, Davis Bowie and Moby, Stacey Peralta, Rodney Torres, Barry McGee, Tom Sachs, Robert Plants, Philip Glass, Wu Tang, Moorcheeba, Avril Lavigne, Lenny Kravitz, Hiroshima Survivor. Next to the portraits are still lives of crushed objects (Coca Cola, Sunkist, Country Club, Old English cans, Marlboro, Phillies, Double Happiness pockets). Thus creating a narrative between beauty and recyclable objects which are cast in a new light under Serra's eye.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish