This story will make you want to visit Bellville.
This is a story about a watering hole known to the buck and zebra and giraffe and swallows and all other critters of the Flat Kingdom as the Bell of the Ville.
Each day, animals would journey from across the Pleins of the Flat Kingdom to the Bell of the Ville, to drink and to gather food and materials that existed in abundance at its edges.
One day, a Parakeet flew over the watering hole and noticed that there was no good vantage point for the King to enjoy the watering hole from. Armed with a ruler and architectural paper, he approached the King and said “With your Authority, I will design for you a better pond, a pond that will renew the shine in the Bell of the Ville”.
And the King thought, “hmmmm, maybe with a better Bell I can attract more prey, and with a better vantage point I will feast even more greatly on all the prey”. And so the Parakeet got to work.
And he went down to the Bell of the Ville with a clipboard and he asked the buck “Buck, would you live here if we built house?” And the buck said “no, of course not! It’s not safe here with the crockodiles”.
And so he went to the zebra and he asked “Zebra, what would you like to see here?” and the Zebra said “Wies jy? Wat soek jy? Hoekom wil julle voeltjies altyd sulke goed vra?”
And so he left the Zebra and went to the Giraffe and he asked “Giraffe, if we planted some shrubs, would you spend more time here?” And the Giraffe said (while munching on the upper leaves of the abundant tall trees on the waters edge) “Shrubs will attract more small animals, who will get in my way”.
And so the Parakeet returned to the King and reported that he had determined that the Bell of the Ville had no value to the animals. The Parakeet could design the King a nice, shiny hill on which to perch.
And so the ants got to work covering the hole, and soon the King had a new hill on which to perch.
And the Buck came seeking water and said “oh, but where has our water gone?!” And the Parakeet said “but you said it was unsafe here — look, we took away the crockodiles”.
Then the Zebra came and said “oh but where has our water gone!?” and the Parakeet said “but you didn’t want to engage”.
Then the Giraffe came and said “oh but where has our water and leaves gone!?” and the Parakeet said “but look, there are no small animals here”
And the King lay on his perch, starving.
(Until, one day, …. ?)
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Written after a presentation asking “who is renewal for” in relation to Bellville CBD and it’s current low-attachment value, high functional-value the area has as a market and transit place. Water only partially unintentionally metaphorically used.