For the second time, we did not see any cheetah in Kruger National Park, a.k.a. “The Kruger”.
Or…is it “the Kruger”? I love the way South Africans refer to it, particularly when they use “the”. I was trying to think of an equivalent in the states. We also drop the words “….National Park” off the end of our most popular places: Yosemite; Yellowstone; Sequoia. And we do add “the” when we’re referring to Grand Canyon National Park (“the Grand Canyon”) but that’s because it’s not just “a canyon”. In America, it’s the canyon.
There are other canyons in America, but none (that I know of) are afforded “the” for their short name. We say “Bryce Canyon” as opposed to “The Bryce” or “The Bryce Canyon.”
Who cares, right!?
Well, I kinda’ do. I like it because it affords a person, place or item the significance of being incomparable to anything else around it. Donald Trump is “The Donald”, like him or not, because he has achieved unparalleled status, wealth, power and influence.
I’ve noticed, however, that “the” is used more and more frequently in our ever-increasing, hyperbolic world. Something cannot be just a name, a place. It has to be an only, an unequivocal, an icon.
Maybe I should declare my husband and I, The Kurt and The Marla, because we have achieved unparalleled, uh… We have accomplished monumental, er…
Or, as one of my favorite poets, Sean Thomas Dougherty, likes to say, “because, f u.”
Okay, so we are just a Marla, and a Kurt, in a simple “The Druzgals” pairing. And we’re okay with that.
But in the meantime, since it truly is unparalleled in the wildlife parks we’ve been to here in South Africa, I’m completely pro “The Kruger”.
But what about those cheetahs?
Endangered. On the brink. In decline. Dying out. = you are very, very lucky to see a cheetah in the wild.
The last census we saw showed less than 200 in the park. The Kruger is somewhere around 2 million hectares (close to 5million acres?) so finding a cheetah isn’t exactly easy. But it’s worth the search. Regardless of what we find each time when we go, we enjoy the scenery and the escape to a different kind of reality.
We’ll talk more about cheetahs when I do those conservation posts. But in the meantime, I have a question for you, related to tomorrow’s post:
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond today. September is rolling away too fast, and I’m definitely not ready for 2013 to slip away!