Not much vnlike the wondrer haue ye another figure called the doubtfull, because oftentimes we will seeme to cast perils, and make doubt of things when by a plaine manner of speech wee might affirme or deny him.

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Breyten Breytenbach, Mouroir

Over his white robe in which the wind was trapped like the wings of anxious seagulls he wore a jacket buttoned to the chin and around the head he had wrapped a turban and on his face he had a pointed beard. He thoughtfully fondled the sharpness of the hairy little sword on his chin and carefully and slowly explained to us from deep in his throat that he could, upon request, rapidly accompany us to a place where we might obtain assistance, but only the men would be allowed to come. This after all, was dictated by the customs of Islam. And concerning the women we weren’t to worry excessively for they would be safe here during our brief absence. But we had to take our shoes off. With the guide we clambered over the sandhill and sunk to our knees in the shifts and the slides of the surface. Behind the hill we saw the grey sandflats decorated with shadows of all shapes. Like more palpable shadows there were also broad drawers standing upright, half buried in the sand itself, with shiny knobs by which they could be opened upwards. The Arab with the burnt-out eyes asked us whether we wished to arrive at our destination quickly or less quickly or less slowly or slowly or in God’s own time. We said: as soon as possible, please. Rather, that was my answer, and I assume the others answered in the same way. Thus he opened the left most “drawer” and we climbed in. And with a giddy speed we tumbled down, transported by a vertical conveyer belt, until down below we were spilt head over heels on a square. In the middle of the square was a fountain. Around this square with its fountain there were the fronts of tall buildings – some were even palaces. A crowd of people with smiles wreathed around their mouths strolled up and down and then stopped to listen with cocked heads how the spouting water plunges back with a rinkle-tinkle. It was warm in that place. And it was evening because spray-lights lit up the buildings and shone through the tree of water. I think it must have been in Switzerland. A long long time ago.

Bessie Head, A Question of Power

By Sunday evening, exhausted, she thought quietly to herself: ‘Sello, after all, is just a fool, and he looks like a monkey.’

She closed her eyes, wearily. There was an instant attack from Medusa. She stood next to brown-suit and said, accusingly, ‘You see, she says you look like a monkey. What are you going to do about it?’

As Elizabeth watched, brown-suit’s face slowly changed to the shape of an owl. He said: ‘Oh, no, I’m not a monkey. I’m a wise old owl.’

She jerked upright in bed. What was this? Did it mean she had no privacy left?