Koppie tee...

Sunset in Cape Town. Kleinboet watches Skoonma in the Company Gardens, keeping an eye on her for her safety, while Skoonma meets with a mysterious lady. Kleinboet is out of earshot, but from what he can tell, it’s all quite civil.

Indeed, Skoonma asks the lady: “That teacup has been in my family for generations. I know it’s a finders-keepers kind of jol these days.” Skoonma sighs. “But I genuinely just forgot it there after our recent family picnic at Brekfisbaai in Vermont. When I saw your ad online, I knew I just had to meet up and talk.”

The lady smiles. “Of course, miss Skoonma. I understand. I thought it might have some great value. You know, a remnant from the Great War or something. But I understand now that the sentimental value is far greater.”

Skoonma breathes a sigh of relief. “Thank you, uhm … strange lady. You know, my family is the most important thing to me. And I was hoping to give this teacup to Kleinboet on his birthday. So he can carry it over to the next generation.”

Kleinboet can hardly hear what they’re saying, but recognises his own name. He decides to jump to action – in case he’s been caught out, and Skoonma is in danger. He emerges from behind a tree and runs up to their table.

“Give that teekoppie to Skoonma right now, you skobbejak!” he shouts.

A stunned silence follows. Only now does Kleinboet realise the strange lady is about the same age as Skoonma. He clears his throat shyly. “Um … Asseblief, Tannie,” he adds.

Another beat of silence. Then Skoonma and the strange lady burst out in laughter.

“Oh, Kleinboet,” Skoonma says, “There was never any danger.”

“But,” Kleinboet answers, “you said you were going on a mysterious journey to find the teacup. A journey that might be dangerous.”

“True,” says Skoonma. “Because I wasn’t sure whether I was being … what do you call it … katvis?”

“Catfished …” replies Kleinboet, still worried. “When someone lures you into something bad on the internet.”

“Yes, yes, I know what it means!” retorts Skoonma. “But that’s not the case. The strange lady is actually an extremely nice lady. And she will give the teacup back, without asking for money.”

The strange lady is excited. “Because it’s a gift for-”

Skoonma silences her with a strict yet friendly glare. Then she gets her small leather bag, places the teacup in it.

“Come on, Kleinboet,” she says softly. “Let’s go home.”




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