Wednesday, 8 February 2012

I remember playing with Shongololo's !!!

My childhood memories and what I think now ...
I remember playing with Shongololo's !!!

Growing up in South Africa and in Zululand / Natal in a small farming village called Empangeni - we got to play with all sorts of funky bugs and animals ... Shongololo was one of my favourites - we where allowed to play with them purely because they where not poisons or harmful and didn't send parents screaming for the insecticide ( which every good house hold in Empangeni has an onslaught of ) . 

Red shongololo - about 1cm thick & about 10 cm long

I really loved them because of the way they moved - with their millions of tiny little legs like millions of little fingers moving them along and well if you touched them they would curl up into a ball - hence the name Shongololo - which means to curl up in Nguni. 

I think with children anything that curls up or reacts to touch is just awesome...
They come in red and black - the red ones where small and fast and the black ones where HUGE!

Black shongololo - about 2cm thick & 20cm long
I remember finding them in the garden and putting them in clear bags and watching them squirm around and poo ( i know really gross - but as kids this is AWESOME ) ... then once that was over we would let them go and onto the next thing...

What i think now ...

Definitions first - 
songololo, shongololo [ˌsɒŋgəˈləʊləʊ]
n pl -los
(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) a millipede, Jurus terrestris, having a hard shiny dark brown segmented exoskeleton
[from Nguni ukusonga to roll up]

I would love my kids to play with these they are just so wonderfully interesting and fascinating.
I do regret torching some people with them while I was young and drunk on peoples reactions to squirmy bugs... But it is ever so funny to see a grown person run away screaming from a little bug that hasn't even touched them... 

No comments: