As a young girl I had a complete obsession with fairies and magical creatures. The world was full of all manner of strange winged, scaled and furred beings that I had no doubt existed. Many years on I had forgotten this childish dream until I laid eyes on my first real, living, mythical animal.
In one strange creature all the weird and wonderful came into perfect union, a mix between imagination and reality. The creature I’m referring to is the pangolin.
It is a creature that since then I have become both fascinated and smitten with. They look rather like a child-sized dragon, carrying a suit of armour and some species have a tongue longer than the length of their entire body. I have written a post before describing some of the less known facts about this amazing creature, sadly the most trafficked animal in the world.
Below is a video made from the incredible footage Shaun D’araujo captured when the latest pangolin was sighted on Londolozi. Wait for the part when you see its enormous sticky tongue protrude from its mouth, something that will help the pangolin to lap up over 70 million insects a year. Its armour, which took 55 millions years to evolve, gives it the appearance that you are witnessing a modern-day dinosaur and the fact that it disappears as quickly as it appears, leaves you wondering if you ever really saw it at all.
For me, this creature shows that even though we often lose touch with the innocent wonder of youth, we don’t need to. It is possible to remain enchanted; spellbound for life.
Nature is the greatest reminder that mystical and magical moments are always here. It gives us a new lens through which to view ourselves and the world and shows us the potential of limitless possibilities.
Just spend a morning watching a tracker seek out a leopard, witness a double rainbow brightens the sky after a cleansing rain or stumble upon one of the weird and wonderful creatures we find at Londolozi and you’ll remember.
With the endless myriad of unfoldings that the natural world produces here on any given day, one might believe we were being spoilt with childhood daydreams. Yet I now know that the enchantment is in fact real; all we have to do is open our eyes. It is in no way confined to the realms of imagination, it is literally arising here, in this life, right now. And this for me, is the definition of true magic.