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Thursday, 12 March 2009

How much poo would a dassie poo if a dassie could pooh pooh?




I was reminiscing with a friend, Mango*, about dassie poo the other evening, as you do, and thought I would continue here, as I do.

I have always had a thing for rodents in general and dassies** in particular. It runs in my family. Here is what happened when we took my sister, a dassie virgin, to Hermanus***:


Sister person: OMG dassies! Look at all the dassies!

Po: yes. Indeed. Now, If you look towards the sea, you may notice 3 breaching whales doing somersaults.

Sister person: Dassiesdassiesdassies look, they are eating out of my hand!

Po. Yes. They do that. Just mind they don't eat your hand off. Now, have you noticed there is a WHALE right here below us? You know, the animals we drove all this WAY to see?

Sister person: dassiesdassiesdassiesdassies!



As to my reminiscing, Mango and I were involved in a Botany project involving dassie poo back at university.

I took some random Botany courses at uni because plants are really interesting and and... weeell, that toooo. But I took Botany courses so I could go on cool field trips. We went all over the Western Cape on our quest for good wine I mean succulents, and once we even ended up on a climbing trip in Montagu, searching for those really hard to reach plants. Ahem.

This one time in Bainskloof we had to come up with a one day field research project. I was with Mango and Born Botanist. Born Botanist knew the name of every plant under the sun, and made sure he told them to us as we went. Plant spotting is a tedious sport. It's not like they move or anything. Walking was a slow process, is all I'm saying.

Born Botanist came up with our project: does the plant species Somethingus inlatinum use dassies as seed dispersers? Ie. do the seeds germinate only after being voided out of a dassie's rear?

There was only one way to find out. We had to uncover every dassie midden on the mountain and count all the Somethingus plants in and out of poo. Delightful.

We walked all over the mountainside that day, examining pile after pile of poo. Of course, to be thorough, Born Botanist took some poo samples back to the lab, made poo stew out of them, and poured the stew on soil to see what grew out of it. His parents are English, which explains things.

I am a bit sceptical about our findings though. Born Botanist pointed Somethingus out, but it looked like any other weed to me. And I can't say I measured accurate quadrants of distance between plant and poo or anything. I am not a natural born scientist by any means. I just liked walking around the boulders in the sunshine and spotting dassies. 

Who were not delighted at having us lurking in their toilets, I might add. Nobody likes to be watched mid-poo.


Out of interest, I googled "dassie poo" and came up with some goodies:


It is amazing, the shit some people get up to for a living. 

*NOT HER REAL NAME
** they look like wild guinea pigs. See picture
***South Africans go there to see whales. Whales go there to have nookie.



20 comments:

Goblin said...

Hehehe

The things you science people do :P

Being Brazen said...

Drinking dassie poo? Well, that sounds ikky

6000 said...

"This one time at band camp"
"This one time at Bainskloof"

You can see why I can't get American Pie off my mind now, right?

po said...

Goblin: you are telling me. I am surprised Born Botanist did not drink poo tea just to make sure...

BB: you should watch the video it is for true.

6000: that is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote it. Evil maniacal laughter.

I did not get naughty with any musical instruments though, I swear.

Astharis said...

I think having to sift through the poo was your karma for being allowed to be out in the sunshine all day "working". :p

Dash said...

it looks like a viscious half breed of possum and wombat

LadyFi said...

That guy grimaced after he took one sip of that dassie poo tea! Still, if we can use it as an energy supply, then - brilliant! As long as we don't have to eat it...

quartercenturycrisis said...

Yeah I have a long history with dassies... My husband was "dassiephobic" and convinced that they were out to get him. They used to "charge" him every change they got... In that hopping/waddling way that dassies have of charging...

po said...

Astharis: that makes sense actually :) A small price to pay

Dash: they are vicious. But disarmingly cute.

Ladyfi: but even one sip... crazy English people :)

quartercenturycrisis: I feel that way about sheep strangely. But I do love dassies. I have heard of them biting tourists though.

Lopz said...

Dude, I can't believe I just read a whole post about dassie poo!!!!!

Ruby said...

now that explains the hamster thing....heard the hamster song yesterday, and i kept thinking about my favourite seamonkey

po said...

Lopz: dude, I can't believe I managed to write a whole post on dassie poo! Never mind get people to read it :)


Ruby: is it a hamster, is it a hamster?

LadyFi said...

The Strange Shores Blog Carnival is now published - and you have been featured! Please mention it in a post and ask your readers to go here: http://ladyfi.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/strange-shores-edition-number-heck-whos-counting/

Helen said...

scarily enough I'm good with plants, but many antelope are dumped into the category of "Somebok". if I try to impress non-South africans who are visiting (which is easy enough considering the last one didn't believe giraffes existed and had never heard of an impala before) I can allocate new names "otherbok" or "newbok" or "weirdbok"

They don't usually catch on to my total and complete ignorance!

po said...

helen: what about the jackalope?

henno said...

Back in my sister's hippy days, she used to go to the local muti market and by a dial of dassie-piss for her period pains. I don't think it really worked that well, coz she only did it a few times...

Craig said...

Oooh, a dassie! *attention diverted*

po said...

henno: for real? I think I wou;d prefer the poo tea myself!

Craig: a fellow dassie fan, I see?

henno said...

For real, but like I said, don't think it was the miracle herbal muti cure she thought it would be...eww

Furion said...

FYI, a Dassie is called a Rock Rabbit in English.