Bernd Brandt

Onseepkans rd., Pofadder, Northern Cape, South Africa

2011 / 04 / 12 08:14

'I started farming with three lambs. I raised them, never bought more - I farmed with those three until now, when I got to 60. I started selling half of them, of the ram lambs. Then the bicycle helped me, I took water to them when we didn't have water - took water to them from the town. So I raised them and went on - this bicycle helped me a lot. Every day I cycle with him, in the morning and in the afternoon. He helps me, every year I make a harvest and money with him. He gives me a harvest from the lambs - I sell them and then I help the bicycle again, buying him parts and so I'm with him every day. My dogs there are looking after the animals, they don't go back to the location with me. I say, “Guys, you are staying with them', then they stay there. They stay there until I come, then I make food for them. From there they go into the veldt with me. We climb the mountain with the goats and sheep, we stay in the mountain. In the afternoon we come down again then we give them water. Then I give them food and stay with them until 18:00 when I come back to the location. Tomorrow morning, I just go back to them again. This bicycle has helped me a lot - that’s why I love it. I don't want anyone else to ride it, only I ride with it, because he helped me a lot - he is still helping me now. So I go on, it is the only transport I have to my animals, that is why I love him so much. At the moment I have 60 sheep and 50 goats, but they are going to lamb again this year. Then I can sell them and have a little something in the bank again - to have something to buy some more food for them and medicine. I'm coming from the location now I'm standing here at Onseepkans cross. I'm going to take this gravel road and ride it up to there by that mountain, then I'm going over that mountain and then I'm walking over that mountain and bringing the animals to the water. Then I'm going to sit there in the afternoon and I'm going to come back with Onseepkans road to the location. We have a certain camp there that we got from the government where we can sit and farm there. Here on the bike I have a little food and some tools, in case the bicycle breaks down. I can't do without the tools - I fix the bicycle on the road. I have some spanners, a pair of pliers, shifting spanner and vice-grip - everything I have here. Patch and solution - I ride with it. I first had an old Raleigh bicycle. This one at least has another gear than I can make less - that Raleigh bicycle only had the one. It says it is a mountain bike, so I cycle the mountain with it as well. At least it can change. This bicycle is comfortable because with the old bicycle you can't go over the hills, with this one you can. I still have the old bicycle and use it now and then to go to town. I can load some stuff there, like some corn. I can't load this one as much as the old one - it is stronger than this one. This bicycle works a lot for me, because every year I at least get a cent out of it. The animals only live from it. It’s name is “Let’s go there is no time”, ha ha! Let’s go because there is no time the animals are waiting for us! The sheep and the goats you can still talk to, you can say “Hey guys, no not this way” then they turn around, you can say “Guys, time is time, you know what time you need to come home”, then they come home - but the children these days, you can tell them “come home” then they go the wrong way around, you tell them “come home this time”, then they come home the time they decide to come back. Not with the goats, they know the time, then they come. You can just call them, then they come. There is one goat named Rachel, I say “Rachel, come on”, then she comes with the whole team. It is an old goat that I taught to pull the team home. If I say “Rachel, we got to go home', then it is time.’

Nic Grobler

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