It's a Guy Thing


“Please, please – my turn, my turn …”

Feeling wild: emotional animals.

I awoke this morning dog tired; I had tried counting sheep, but I have to admit I’m no night owl. I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent but thankfully I wasn’t as sick as a parrot. Looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror – as bald as a coot ─ I nonetheless thought I looked like the cat’s pyjamas; but then again, pigs might fly!

The English language is – literally and metaphorically ─ littered with phrases that associate our most precious wildlife with human characteristics. Is this an arrogance that only humanity is capable of, or simply respectful recognition that other species sharing this fabulous world with us have feelings too? I’d like to think that it’s the latter, but could this just be a shaggy dog story? Nonetheless, as I pondered this imponderable, the elephant in the room had to be confronted. If I harnessed just a smidgen of Dr Doolittle’s magic, could I really talk to the animals, or at least listen to them? Or was I embarking on a wild goose chase?

There was only one way to find out ─ by taking the bull by the horns and tagging along with safari photographer Gurth Bramall, a guy who regularly captures the eye of the tiger; and in doing so, use my human instincts to classify some evidently emotional animals. So, into the heat of Africa we trekked ─ but is it actually true that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…







“I’m off to bed. Turn the hall light off on your way up.”



“It’s on the tip of my tongue…”


“I promise I won’t bite.”


“Mudpack and nails done – I’m ready to go out, out!”






“See, mine is longer than yours!”

#Standing-on-a-Lego brick



“Is that it?”



“What’s up?”


As my safari adventure came to a close, I knew that I would never look a gift horse in the mouth again…


© Ian Kirke 2023 / @ianjkirke ─ all photographs reproduced by kind permission of Gurth Bramall.