Google map: The Company’s Garden
This week Pegman takes us to Cape Town, South Africa. Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.
I am jumping with excitement. Today we are visiting the Company’s Garden.
“Mummy, will you please buy peanuts to feed the pigeons and the squirrels?”
“Yes, darling child. We are also going to the museum; I want you to learn about the history of our ancestors and our country.”
“Will the ancestors be at the gate to sell the peanuts? Maybe ice cream too?”
“Darling, the ancestors are long dead. You’ll learn more about them at the museum.”
Passing the benches lining the avenue where the squirrels and pigeons hang out, she says: “Sit here on the bench marked ‘Whites Only’”.
“The squirrels and pigeons are all colours, Mummy, not only white?”
“Oh, for the love of … !”
Father tries to defuse the situation: “She is six years old.”
“Yes, and if she keeps focussing on peanuts and ice cream, she will remain ignorant for the next sixty years”.
Note: This is my very first stab at flash fiction; please be kind 😀 Constructive criticism is welcome!
The Company’s Garden is a heritage site situated in central Cape Town. The beautiful park, originally created in 1650 by the first European settlers (Dutch East India Company) as a garden to provide fresh produce to ships rounding the Cape of Storms on their way to the East, is maintained as a botanical garden to this day. The park is watered from a dam which accumulates water from the lower slopes of Table Mountain.
The park boasts, inter alia, a beautiful rose garden established in 1929, a well-stocked fish pond, an aviary, a herb and succulent garden, valuable trees of botanical and historical value, lawns and benches where visitors can rest and enjoy the ambience, and historical statues. Also housed within the grounds are the Iziko South African Museum and National Gallery.
Historical buildings in close proximity to the Company’s Garden include the Parliament of SA, the old Slave Lodge, the Tuynhuys (“Garden House”, the Cape Town office of the Presidency) and The Jewish Museum (Cape Town Holocaust Centre).
The first image below is my mother as a young woman (circa 1941), and the second a photo of my mother and myself (circa 1958), both captured in the Company’s Garden, the latter 60 years ago, during the years of Apartheid and political turmoil. These photos and our numerous visits to the Company’s Garden inspired the fictional dialogue above.
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