Dandelion: Mandela Money and the Big Five

Dandelion: Mandela Money and the Big Five

by Lynda Harrison


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 28


By using the five South African Rand currency banknotes, with Nelson Mandela, 'Madiba', on one side, and one of the 'Big Five' wildlife animals on the other, this poetic narrative brings to life each animal. Dandelion highlights the beauty and magnificence of each one, as well as the tragedies of poaching, hunting, and habitat loss that they face today.

"Yes, through our banknotes I will describe,

Our Madiba on one side, the other, our 'Five'."

"So sad then you're orphaned and left all alone,

No one to say: 'My, but how you have grown!'

The mother you had was all you had known.

They killed her. They killed her just for her horn."

"Oh African Elephant, how we adore you,

You are so special, our tremendous number 'Two',

But what is it that you see from your field of view?

Is it the sunset with rich reds and yellows of hue?

Or is it those who take your tusks and then say adieu?"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482860504
Publisher: Partridge Africa
Publication date: 01/21/2016
Pages: 62
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.17(d)

About the Author

The author is an animal lover, especially of wild animals, and is working towards highlighting the plights facing these animals today. Many of the wild animals are endangered or threatened and more needs to be done to protect them, before it is too late.

Read an Excerpt


Mandela Money and the Big Five

By Lynda Harrison, Earlene Gayle Escalona

Partridge Africa

Copyright © 2016 Lynda Harrison
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4828-6050-4


    African Rhino

    You are strangely shaped, with a body like a barrel,
    You are stocky and short, and wild and feral,
    You are at risk - your existence is in peril.

    But you are aware of our endless strive,
    The relentless work to keep your kind alive,
    You, our ten Rand banknote, the first of our 'Big Five',
    Endangered is what you are, but you will survive,
    For we will not give up the battle to keep you alive.

    Oh how we love your thick and wrinkly hide,
    Full of folds and rolls and lines all dried,
    They have tried to kill all of you, oh how they've tried,
    And we have wept for you, oh how we've cried.

    You are so strange and unusual-looking, Rhinoceros,
    With your large horn sitting at the end of your nose,
    Your squat and thickset frame is to your majesty juxtapose,
    And to murdering you for your horns, I vehemently oppose.

    Black Rhino, White Rhino, you are so alike,
    One of the differences relating to your size,
    But your two beautiful horns are the poachers' prize,
    And we see all the wounds and the tears in your eyes.

    Right next to your eyes sits your smaller horn,
    Such unique features with which you were born,
    What a sight to see you on an African morn,
    Beware those who dare to treat you with scorn.

    Yes, African Rhino, our number 'One',
    Our most endangered under African sun,
    We will try to save you, bar none,
    We will not give up until the battle is won.

    Your horns are not made of bone but keratin,
    And here the poaching problems lie within,
    How sad that we should have to speak of this again,
    But yes, we must, as we have set our sights to win,
    Thousands of you hunted, almost to extinction,
    How sad and tragic, this continuing execution.

    You are our ten Rand banknote, of green in colour,
    For the 'Rainbow Nation', what a wonderful metaphor!
    The others of our 'Five' are listed below:
    Brown, red, orange, and blue for Buffalo.

    With your thick skin as your armour, Rhinoceros,
    You are magnificent and oh so splendorous,
    Your place in our 'Five' is proof that you're prestigious,
    While grazing in the grasslands, you are so glorious.

    Oh how you love in the mud to wallow,
    Rolling around in the pools so shallow,
    Teaching your calves, that they may follow.

    Myopic Rhino with your poor eyesight,
    As the sun brings day and the moon brings night,
    We watch over you and relish in your might,
    So hard to believe - your tragic plight.

    Your colour, White Rhino, is dark grey
    And not white at all. Be that as it may,
    We will call you by this name anyway.
    Your name comes from 'wijd' is what they say.

    Yes, the shape of your mouth is what did decide
    Your name. It refers not to 'white', but to 'wide',
    Which it would in the language of Dutch describe;
    It was a mistranslation that did misguide.

    Yes, the shape of your mouth is broad and square,
    Your horns are made of keratin, like our nails and hair,
    This is the substance that relates to our despair,
    To stop this ruthless killing - this is our prayer.

    Your other name is 'square-lipped rhinoceros',
    With your square mouth, we think you are marvellous,
    You are a mammal and you're large and cumbrous,
    With close relatives: elephant and hippopotamus.

    With this wide, flattened mouth you graze,
    Eating short grasses, you do amaze,
    Grazing plants for many hours portrays
    You as a herbivore Rhino, these are your ways.

    Black Rhino, Mother Nature did you equip,
    With a pointed, prehensile upper lip,
    Which you use for leaves and shoots to grip,
    Yes, for food from shrubs and trees to rip.

    Yes, Black Rhino, you are a browser,
    Unlike your cousin, White Rhino, a grazer,
    And you also are not a predator,
    But among your predators, the hyena.

    Black Rhino, you are not truly black
    But grey, and love yourself with mud to stack,
    Or sometimes just a dust bath on your back,
    How tragic so persistently your horns to hack.

    White Rhino, we identify you by the hump on your neck,
    It holds the muscles to support your large head,
    If you could talk, what is it you would have said,
    Of all the times you have been injured and left for dead?

    For what? Your horns that have left your face disfigured
    And your carcass for the vultures, yes, taken your vigour,
    For supposed medicine or the handle of a dagger,
    Yes, that is what made them pull the trigger.

    Black Rhino, you too have a strong neck,
    And how we love to watch the oxpeckers that do peck
    Away at the parasites on you, symbiont, our beloved friend.
    My wish is that our love for you has been sufficiently penned.
    Please, human race, when will this senseless slaughter end?
    Please forgive us Rhino - we will try to make amends.

    Oh baby Black Rhino, you walk behind your mother,
    While White Rhino calf, you walk in front rather,
    These are your nurturing ways with each other,
    Such harmony between mother and young together.

    Oh how you love to drink at the waterhole,
    Even a ten-kilometre walk or stroll
    To find a new one. I could extol
    And praise your entire being, your whole.

    As males, you are bulls and are extraordinary,
    As your preference is to be solitary,
    And live in your own territory,
    Which you do guard rather defensively.

    An intruder bull will not be allowed,
    So face to face you both stand proud,
    Touching horns then stares abound,
    Moving backwards and with heads bowed,
    Wiping front horns on the ground,
    Pawing feet and then snorting loud,
    Usually, your rival's intrusion is cowed.

    If not, you will attempt an oust,
    Clashing horns, there will be a joust,
    Fighting with a thrash and with a thrust,
    Until a winner emerges from the dust.

    Calves are well developed when born but tend
    To be chased away after a few years to fend
    For themselves. It would seem this is the trend.

    Female whites and calves often live in herds,
    And have a symbiotic relationship with cattle egret birds,
    Oh Rhino, our awe of you cannot be put in words.

    As a perissodactyl, you have just three toes
    On each foot - an odd number. I do propose
    To call you an ungulate, as this shows
    That you have hooves, and the author knows
    That you carry your weight on your middle toes,
    And the others do help with grip I suppose.

    Your sight may be poor, but it is apparent and clear
    That with your trumpet-shaped ears you do hear
    Very well. And your sense of smell I do declare,
    Is excellent too. How sad that so many of you disappear,
    Such thanks to all of those who volunteer,
    To save and protect you and hold you so dear.

    It is the mud wallow in Africa that is your jewel,
    Yes, this the place that is the refreshing pool,
    Where you adorn yourself in mud to stay cool.

    Oh we love how you make your own sunscreen,
    By rolling in the mud to protect your skin,
    Like the rest of us in Africa, we need sun cream.

    Looking for food at the time when it's coolest,
    Resting and sleeping at the time when it's hottest,
    Oh our number 'One', please don't be so modest.

    My beloved Rhino, you have such powerful muscle,
    You need these to drive your legs or for a tussle,
    And to move your large head for when you rustle
    The leaves and twigs and grass in a bustle.

    Little calf, ten minutes after you're born you stand on your feet,
    At three months you drink thirty litres of milk a day, how sweet,
    You need your mommy for protection and to teach you what to eat,
    Teach you how to find thicket for shade from the simmering heat.

    So sad then you're orphaned and left all alone,
    No one to say: 'My, but how you have grown!'
    The mother you had was all you had known.
    They killed her. They killed her just for her horn.

    It seems amazing to me how us, yes, we,
    Can send a man to the moon and a camera to Pluto to see,
    But can't stop the demand for this high-priced commodity,
    How disheartening - yes, this awful tragedy.

    Rhino, we love you and are sorry we haven't done more,
    We hear your cries and see that your heart is so sore,
    We see the sadness in your eyes and know you are weary from this war,
    But there are many who wish to help you, for it is you who we adore.

    Oh our Rhino, you are so peaceful and serene,
    People think you are aggressive and rather mean,
    But it is mostly when you think you have seen
    Something to threaten your calf or your being
    That you will charge or attack, it would seem.

    Oh gentle Rhino, you are so shy,
    And our love for you here is so very high,
    And other nations also do really try,
    To take care of you here under African sky,
    So please, please I beg, don't cry,
    If we teach others to love you, your salvation can be nigh.

    You use your horn for digging up food from the ground,
    You want to be protected and safe and have found,
    There are those who care and spread the word around.

    So you say: 'I need my horn, and you don't need mine,
    So please leave me to be and let me shine,
    And allow my kind to continue our line.'

    African Elephant

    So moving on, look to this author's sentiment,
    And you will see it is extremely evident,
    The need to conserve African Elephant.

    To the hunter, you are David's Goliath,
    Bringing you down, their ultimate triumph,
    Of all land animals, you are the giants,
    And to preserve you, we will not be silenced.

    This author works towards abolishment,
    Of hunting you for sports and amusement,
    This recreation none other than abhorrent,
    And to me, it has become very transparent,
    There is lack of concern by the affluent,
    Who hunt and kill you, African Elephant.

    Yet, in places you are still prevalent,
    For there are some who have set a precedent,
    And to those we give our acknowledgement,
    Your herds are aware of this accomplishment,
    And you and I are very much in agreement,
    That this is a heroic achievement.

    Friends, do not be fooled - Elephant are sensitive in nature,
    Their ancestors may well be the mammoth creature,
    But now they look to you to be their saviour.

    They have gargantuan bodies and the thickest of skins,
    But they command immense intelligence,
    And their heartfelt thanks to you, heroes and heroines.

    For it is from your efforts that they have out-weathered
    Extinction. So do not think you are not treasured,
    Their love for you cannot be measured.

    Elephant, you are our twenty Rand banknote, our number 'Two',
    You have crept into our hearts, how our love for you grew,
    Your bulls, matriarchs, teenagers, and calves too,
    African Elephant, please know our love for you.

    Your ancestor, the proboscidean, had short tusks and long snout,
    Adapted to become the mastodon and woolly mammoth no doubt,
    And eventually, you, Elephant, with body and heart so stout.

    Your large ears act as a massive fan
    To cool you down. We know that you can
    Get sunburnt too so you make a plan
    With mud and dust – sunblock – just like man!

    Mud and dust also protect you against insect bites,
    But alas, like Rhino, it seems you too have no rights
    To protection and preservation against the plights
    Of poachers and hunters who have you in their sights.

    You have at the end of your trunk two 'fingers',
    Amongst the acacia your herd happily lingers,
    And with your trunks you are trumpeters and not singers.

    Your two 'fingers' you use for grasping fruit,
    To get to the leaves, a tree you'll uproot,
    You don't mind the thorns or even a shoot,
    You are a mega-herbivore - a real brute.

    Your tusks serve many a convenient use,
    Sometimes as weapons is what I deduce,
    And those who disrespect you are obtuse.

    You'll uproot the trees and dig for water,
    Strip off the bark then off you'll saunter,
    Protect your families, your son and daughter,
    But the very same tusks are the cause of your slaughter.

    You rest your heavy trunk on your tusks sometimes,
    And the poachers have no shame of their crimes,
    They'll kill you for your tusks for dollars and dimes,
    You are endangered - the warning bell chimes.

    Oh African Elephant, how we adore you,
    You are so special, our tremendous number 'Two',
    But what is it that you see from your field of view?
    Is it the sunset with rich reds and yellows of hue?
    Or is it those who take your tusks and then say adieu?

    You have two large tusks and twenty-four teeth,
    You have a massive thick skin that is your sheath,
    But when we look closely we find beneath,
    A behemoth creature with a heart so sweet.

    Your teeth are replaced six times in your life,
    How sad that your kind who were once so rife,
    Are now endangered and endure such strife.

    Your legs are strong and support your weight,
    Your kind are being killed at an astounding rate,
    Yet there are many who wish to consecrate
    Their lives to changing the course of your fate.

    With mud you protect your skin from sunburn,
    You wallow in mud, and your calves too learn,
    Our number 'Two' in the limelight, yes, your turn,
    But your dwindling numbers are of huge concern.

    Oh baby Elephant, you have reddish-brown hair,
    If only they would stop with this ivory affair,
    If your mother could be safe, this is our prayer,
    Please know how we love you and truly do care.

    Yes, hair on your ears, eyes, and tail,
    We will ensure that your kind prevail,
    We will not succumb; we will not fail,
    We will not give up, no, we will assail.

    You are our twenty Rand banknote in the colour brown,
    You are a leviathan, the largest land animal in town,
    And mostly at night do you sleep and lie down.

    You are our brown banknote, our currency of twenty,
    Oh how we adore you, our love for you is plenty,
    The muscles in your trunk add up to many,
    But they kill you just for pounds and for penny.

    It is with your molar teeth that you grind up food,
    Your tusks are incisors – the largest in the
    hood, And you take such wonderful care of your

    You can live to sixty or seventy years old,
    You were created in such a perfect mould,
    You are always so brave and so very bold,
    So sad that your tusks are taken and sold.

    Oh Elephant, you never stop growing,
    Our love for you will never stop flowing,
    I see the dandelion tufts gently are blowing.

    Two years after carrying your baby you give birth,
    You are certainly the largest land animal on this earth,
    And through your nurturing ways, you show your worth.

    Oh newborn calf, after thirty minutes you stand,
    Other females are nearby to 'give a helping hand',
    Oh beautiful Elephants, you are so grand,
    And the selling of your tusks has been banned.

    Such caring mothers, you are so tender,
    This is your nature, in all its splendour,
    Against predators, you are a defender,
    To protect your young, you will not surrender,
    A potential predator is no contender.

    Your trunk is an upper lip and a nose,
    You also love to use it as a squirting hose,
    To throw mud on your back, I do suppose,
    And to teach your young with these amusing shows.

    You use your versatile trunk to smell,
    To drink water and pick up food as well,
    Oh African Elephant, I think you are swell,
    Yes, right here in Africa is where you dwell.
    But why do they make you suffer this hell?
    Killing you and taking your tusks to sell.

    Oh social Elephants you live in a herd,
    To kill you and take your tusks is absurd,
    My wish is that my voice is heard,
    I hope your enemies are deterred.

    The females in your herd are related,
    Mothers, aunts and calves - all affiliated,
    You all live together and are connected.

    You help each other, and your bonds are strong,
    You feed together and raise each other's young,
    Elephant, amazing how you all get along,
    You all feel welcome and know that you belong.

    Sometimes you join another herd to form a clan,
    Oh how I love you, yes I am a fan,
    If too big, your herd will split in two and,
    Stay in contact then meet up - as only you can.

    If a baby elephant gets stuck, you'll set him free,
    You communicate with each other and agree,
    To dig the mud, build a ramp and then see,
    How he climbs out, oh how relieved you'll all be.

    Elephant, there's not much of your home range left,
    This leaves you sorrowful, sad and bereft,
    We have seen your tears, yes, seen how you've wept.

    From coast to coast is where you used to roam,
    But now you have smaller areas to call home,
    Yes, we have heard your call - you are not alone.

    Elephant, we are sorry we have not done more,
    We have seen how you hurt, yes, how you are sore,
    We have seen your pain; your feelings are raw.

    But know this: we will not forget you,
    You are our special number 'Two',
    Our currency of twenty, in brown of hue.

    A wrinkled up bundle has dropped to the ground!
    No matter a boy or girl, so long it's sound!
    Prodding and poking, what have you found?
    Trumpeting and celebrations all around!

    It's a girl, it's a girl, it's a girl, so sweet!
    A few minutes of wobbly on her large feet,
    Dearest little calf that one could ever meet.

    Just a few minutes then following after mother,
    A few minutes more then meeting her brother,
    Meeting this one and that one and then another.

    The herd takes one step, and baby takes ten,
    Looking for milk from mother and then,
    Ten more steps all over again.

    Baby, soon you find you can move from the herds,
    To run around and chase cattle egret birds,
    Try to chase a buffalo, oh how absurd!

    But you stay near to mom for several years,
    Wallowing, trumpeting, and flapping ears,
    Also to babysit and look after peers.

    Babies, you love to play together and have been
    Chasing cattle egret birds, it would seem,
    Who are eating insects in the grass so green.

    A few years on and you stop drinking milk from mother,
    You watch how the older ones push trees and shrubs over,
    Pushing this tree and that tree and then another.

    Matriarch, you look for any sign of danger,
    Fanning your ears to look even larger,
    Look out for challengers or an attacker.

    Elephant, you all gather at the waterhole,
    Other times you're in the forest taking a stroll,
    You are extraordinary, with such heart and soul.

    How odd – your ears are the shape of Africa!
    In rainy seasons, you like to live in the savannah,
    You also love to live in the Okavango Delta,
    And oh how you love to eat from marula and acacia,
    You also live in desert where you can reach much higher.

    Elephant, you eat for many hours a day,
    You eat three meals a day is what they say,
    Night-time, morning and again at midday.

    You communicate through a pitch of sound so low,
    That others of your kind know just where to go,
    Even miles away from the waterhole.

    Your eyesight is poor, but you have excellent hearing,
    You roam through Africa in the heat so searing,
    Your family ways make you oh so endearing,
    So sad though that your kind are fast disappearing.

    You use your large ears not only to hear,
    But flatten them backward when you show fear,
    And spread them out when you say: 'Don't come near!'

    You sleep very little, just a few hours at noon,
    And again at midnight by the light of the moon,
    But morning comes around none too soon,
    So you can once again look for food in your commune.

    Friends, please, do not buy ornaments or jewellery,
    These items may be pretty, but they're made from ivory.
    This explains the tragedy that is Elephant's history,
    And don't be fooled, Elephant has excellent memory.


Excerpted from Dandelion by Lynda Harrison, Earlene Gayle Escalona. Copyright © 2016 Lynda Harrison. Excerpted by permission of Partridge Africa.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews