maandag 19 mei 2014


Alison from South Africa created this beautiful envelope. See the Ladybird on the postage stamp! And a Caracal, and of course the Air Mail Bird.

Inside this envelope she sent a nice letter, accompanied by the postcard you see below. Speaking about South-African animals, usually the 'Big Five' come into mind. And the Giraffe, and Zebra.
However, there are of course many more animals. Among them these 'Ugly Five'.

I think these 'Ugly Five' at least as interesting as the more well-known African animals. They usually have a bad image, not only for their appearance, but also their behaviour is thought to be bad. Which is exaggerated by negative propaganda by movies like the Lion King (o.k. the Warthog has got a more sympathetic imago by this movie).

The 'Ugly Five' are very important animals in the whole circle of life. What would we do without them? How would the landscape look like, without these weird useful creatures? The Hyena and Crocodile allow herbivores to not starve from hunger, by eating some of them. And the Hyena, Marabou Stork and Vulture are the cleaners of the savannah.
And the Warthog, well, it's just a cute animal, holding the tail as an antenna when he/she runs around.

7 opmerkingen:

  1. You're right about the propaganda... I can't believe they sell this postcard with the slogan "the ugly five"! I'm afraid if ever I travel to South Africa I'd buy a postcard for you (and for me) without the slogan...

    But anyway... It's a wonderful mail and a good addition to your weird animals paper zoo :)

  2. I think the 'propaganda' especially is in children's movies, in which hyenas and vultures usually play the bad guys' role.
    Same happens in fairy-tales: the wolves are considered the bad guys, and are treated bad for this. When he (usually the bad animal-guys are a 'he') wants to eat Grandma, or the seven little goats, or the three piglets, which is his natural behaviour, he is punished by a hunter/mother goat/eldest piglet to death... While dogs and cats are eating a huger amount of meat and are even cuddled instead of punished... It's just unfair...

    The name 'The ugly 5', I consider a 'geuzennaam' - I cannot translate it literally, there's a large history behind this name - but the online translator says 'sobriquet', meant in a positive way. Ah, I found the Catalan wiki: which says: "S'utilitza la paraula de geuzennaam o nom de captaire quan un grup discriminat o una minoritat utilitza el mateix el malnóm que els altres li donen com a títol d'honor" :-)
    So no worries, buy any card with 'ugly' five or six or more - also with slogan is o.k. for me, too :-)

  3. There is little chance that I'm going to South-Africa soon, by the way... :D

  4. Wow, that's a nice journey to be looking forward to! Enjoy!

    1. No, no... I meant there is NO chance! :)

    2. But I'm in fact looking forward for another trip that will be not less nice. I hope! :D

    3. Ooh, I'm sorry!... I translated the English straight into Dutch. Here we mean, when we say 'there's a little chance' ('er is een kleine kans') that there indeed is a chance.
      Maybe in future? There must be not only interesting animals, but also interesting lighthouses in SA - and of course nice people to meet, among them some mail artists :-)