It is my custom on Sundays to venture out among the hills just before daylight. Twice now I have spotted on one of the hillsides an antelope browsing.
Though on both occasions it was too distant for an accurate identification, I believe it to be a female Steenbok1 (Raphicerus campestris)2.
I base this solely upon the general shape and colour of the creature—and the name of the nearby mountain, Steenboksberg3 (Steenbok’s Mountain)!
- Afrikaans for “stone-buck”, pronounced [steeyin-bok].
- Steenbok (Wikipedia)
- Afrikaans, pronounced [steeyin-boks-behRCH] with a trilled [RRR] and the [CH] in “loch” (not [ck] but the guttural [kccch]).
A delightful fact I neglect to mention is that my beloved Gladiolus liliaceus, commonly known as the Large Brown Afrikaner and Aandpypie1 (“little evening pipe”2), has yet another common Afrikaans name: the Ribbokblom3, that is, the “rhebok flower”!
Whence the name, I can only speculate—perhaps because the rhebok itself is as rare, or that both are found on hillsides and are brownish-grey? Nonetheless, what are the odds that two of my favourite things—an antelope and a lily—should be thus connected!
- After the flower that opens at night.
- [Ribbok-blom] with a trilled “R” and a short [awh] version of the “o” in “or”.