It's one of those glorious mornings in the Berg. The valleys are still covered in mist, but you can make out the moutain peaks. Could be anywhere, say, the Balalesberg in KZN.
Some of the peaks look grey, some are already reflecting the sun. And I know there are leopards in the kranse up there. This is leopard country, and my mind tells me they stay away from people, and anyway, they are nowhere near here, but my heart still skips a beat at the thought.
Then I hear the sound. It's a long, high pitched, drawn out cry: "Hurrrrrey". I grab my camera, but it's too late, all I see is the edge of a small, round, brown ear.
Was it a dassie? What, up here? Nah. So what was it? I know, I've been trying to photograph it for years. I've been on its trail for ever, it seems. And anyway, you won't believe me:
The Wild Mountain Teddy Bear!
And it has never been recognised by science, either. But anyone who has heard that call can't ever forget it. A call of joy, with a sort of bounciness to it. "Hrrrrr", or perhaps, "Huyyyrr". I tried to tape it, too, but was too late, of course.
If it was up to me I'd call it Ursus Arctos Africanus. I don't know what the Romans called their Teddy Bears, but it doesn't really matter. The experts use the Greek "Arktos" - "Bear", so it would no doubt work.
Of course, the claim that there are wild Teddy Bears at all confuses some people. I know, I know. But then, remember that no-one believed Christopher Columbus about his discovery of the East (actually America). No-one believed Galileo about the earth going around the sun. It's always that way for great inventors, discoverers and pioneers of science.
One day, I'll be vindicated! Watch this space. And then where will the doubters be? Besides, it's a well-known fact that domesticated Teddy Bears are alive.
Ask anyone below the age of five.