I am she who lifts the mountainsWhen she goes to hunt,Who wears mamba for a headbandAnd a lion for a belt.Beware!I swallow elephants wholeAnd pick my teeth with rhinoceros horns,I drink up rivers to get at the hippos.Let them hear my words!Nhamo is comingAnd her hunger is great.I am she who tosses treesInstead of spears.The ostrich is my pillowAnd the elephant is my footstool!I am NhamoWho makes the river my highwayAnd sends crocodiles scurrying into the reeds!
We'd never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation - foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose - was a rainbow coalition of one colour: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing. All other colours - even purple and black - were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a colour than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green - like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath - or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.