A heart lost … and found


It’s a misty morning in the Sondagskloof. Kleinboet and Swartskaap whistle as they look around them. The mist on the farm just about covers the remnants of their proper Valentine’s jol the previous night. Proteas and Speldekussings are still strewn everywhere. And yet, the harvesting team is already hard at work, picking Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the vineyards.

But while almost everyone – even Posmeester and Kat – laugh and chat about the newly made memories from the party, someone rummages through the fynbos flowers with a sad look on her face.

Kleinboet realises that all did not go perfectly with his mal plan to have the Togetherness Party by the dam, because if Skoonma is sad, the whole family will soon be sad.

He and Swartskaap approach her quickly. “Jinne, Skoonma,” he says, “for what are you so hartseer? It was mos a lekker party?”

A wry smile from Skoonma. “You did very well, Kleinboet. I will never forget this party you and Bloos threw! But alas, not only for good reasons.” She sighs. “You remember that heart-shaped klippie I found at Sandbaai beach, not far from our cellars?”

 “Ja, bliksem! Sorry, I mean … Ja, blikskottel,” Swartskaap says. “Skoonma even made it into a necklace, like a hangertjie. Did you lose it of wat?”

Skoonma nods, wipes away a tear from her eyelid. “You know mos, that klippie is very spesiaal for me. I wore the necklace at the party, but now it’s just gone.”

“Yoh!” Kleinboet shouts. “We have a thief in our midst! And also, in our mist!”

Swartskaap rushes off in no particular direction. “I will vang the dief!” he shouts.

Kleinboet sighs. “He will vang aan nonsens before he vangs a thief,” he says to Skoonma. “I should follow him.”

Skoonma chuckles as she watches them go. Her smile fades as she touches her neck, aware of the absence of her favourite pendant.

Then, she sees something curious: Bloos and Kaalvoet Meisie are skipping stones on the dam, having a Southern Right Whale of a time.

Skoonma walks over to them, wanting to join in. “Hallo julle twee,” she says, “I can do with some fun right now. Seeing as my gunsteling hartjie-hangertjie has been stolen.”

Bloos blushes – naturally, as she does – while Kaalvoet Meisie giggles. “It’s not lost, Skoonma,” Kaalvoet Meisie says, “We found the hartjie pebble amongst the Proteablare and goeters, and we thought … This is the perfect skipping stone!”

Bloos’ cheeks turn red, she looks away. “Sorry, Skoonma, it was just … I saw this nice and flat heart-shaped pebble, and I thought … This is mos now togetherness. Me, letting your heart huppel over the water, almost giving it wings. And I am sure it made it to the other shore.”

Skoonma frowns, thinking her pebble now lies at the bottom of the dam. Just then, Swartskaap appears from the other side, with the missing pebble in hand and with Kleinboet in tow. “Aha,” he shouts, “I have proven myself! I found the hartjie-klippie, and next, I will find the thief!”

Redness appears in Bloos’ cheeks again, but Skoonma laughs it off as she takes the pebble from Swartskaap. “Dankie, Swartskaap, but we have solved the groot mystery.”

She clasps the heart-shaped pebble in her hands gratefully, but Swarstkaap is on a mission:

“Huh-uh,” Swartskaap announces, “there’s been an injustice! I think I will write a song about it, and perform it at Die Markie on Saturday, and then everyone will know to look out for the klippie thief!”

He walks off, humming an off-tune melody – determined. Skoonma, Bloos and Kleinboet share a slightly concerned look: What on earth will Swartskaap do next?


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