In the Slow Lane

The Murder of a Fly

This morning my premeditated murder of a fly set me to thinking.  What popped in was Dr. Livingstone, a man whom I had pictured as too gentle to kill a fly.  You know, a Buddhist kind of guy.  Frail, kindly old fellow administering to natives in darkest Africa.  The saintly old man suppposedly greeted by Stanley, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"  I looked him up.  What! 


Myth or a lack of education, either way,  I  don't know squat about the real man.  Missionary?  Well, yes.  Explorer?  I kind of knew.  Abolishinist?  Didn't know it.  A son died in the American Civil War.  Nationality?  Why, shamefully, for sure, I thought he was English!   (Forgive me Scots.)  Influence on the Empire?  Hey, he started folks thinking that maybe manifest destiny was balderdash. 


As to spreading the gospel, only one known convert, though he was a dandy.  Quickly Sechele became fluent in English, translated the Bible into his native tongue.  To Livingston's deep distress, the chief refused give up his three extra wives.   


Livingstone's ever-faithful wife, Mary, followed him into Africa, bearing six children along the way, dying after birthing No. 6.  She lies buried in Mozambique, her story with her.  What a tale that must've been!  Old David, himself, sleeps in Westminster Abbey, but his heart lies buried in Zambia where he died.  Two faithful servants carried the rest of him 1,000 to the coast.


Rivers, lakes, schools, avenues, learning instutions, monuments round the world bear his name.  Even the Lake Malawi Chichlid Nimbrochromis Livingstonii.  Bet you thought it was a bug.  Actually, it's a 10" mottled brown and white fish.  Known as the sleeper, this guy plays possum in the sand, then springs on his prey.  


From the slow lane, livingstonii doesn't seem to have much in common with his namesake.  Dr. Livingstone, definitely not a sleeper.   I do think he would kill a fly. 

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