Dung – May refer to: Dung, animal feces. (Wikipedia)
I was skip reading the October issue of Readers Digest when I happened across an article entitled The World’s Oddest Competitions. Some of the things in the article did seem a bit odd, but nothing was as stomach churning as the Kudu dung spitting competition that many Afrikaans participate in yearly.
According to South African hunters the Kudu is adroit at avoiding and escaping being shot. Their trademark is a pile of dung which they leave behind them in their flight to freedom.
This practise of people putting dung in their mouths and seeing how far they can spit it is probably the most revolting thing I’ve ever heard of. The competition began in 1994 and is seemingly quite popular despite the fact that the participants are putting an animal’s poop in their mouths. Obviously taste is not too much of a factor as the dung pellets are soaked in alcohol the night before the event. It also appears that the competitors are soaked in booze as well.
So far the record distance that a dung pellet has travelled is 15.56 metres. Just reading the title of this particular past time had me in fits of hysterical laughter. It brought up all sorts of jokes and sayings from my childhood.
“That boy’s so quiet he wouldn’t say sh*t if he had a mouthful.” That was the first one that popped into my head and it took me ages to stop laughing. “Every time you open your mouth, sh*t comes out.” The second one still made me laugh but not to the degree that the first saying did.
Once I got over the admittedly school boy attitude to the whole dung spitting thing, I began to wonder if any other competitions centered around animal dung. Either putting it into your mouth or otherwise handling it. After trawling the net I could only find an oblique reference to cow-chip throwing.
Cow-chips (or patties or cow pats) are the flattened dung from cattle. It lies on the ground and drys in a circular shape. In Wisconsin they hold an annual Cow-Chip throwing contest. Unfortunately there seemed to be a shortage of cow chips due to a long dry summer this year. But cow chip shortages aside, the good folks of Wisconsin throw them with their hands not their mouth.
Now I don’t know about Kudu poop, but cow poop once it dries is fairly odourless. Not that I’d want to spend too long sniffing the thing to ascertain whether it did smell or not.
Of course there is no hunting myth attached to the dried cow pat. It’s history is pretty straight forward. Early pioneers on their way to the western shores of America collected dry Buffalo chips as well as cattle chips and used them to make campfires. It is one of those historical facts that I have never felt the urge to try. I’m sure it gives the food a unique flavour.
In South Africa the hunters say the the pile of Kudu dung pellets left behind the fleeing Kudu is a sort of ‘nose thumbing’ gesture. A sign of contempt, if you will. I am sure it seems that way when you’re having a hard time shooting one of the beasts.I have another theory though. I think that the Kudu are just acting normally. I can tell you that if someone had just shot at me and nearly ended my short life that I would flee too. I’d also leave a souvenir behind but it would not be in pellet form .
The more I think about it the more plausible it sounds. I mean think about it. Don’t you think almost getting shot by a hunter would scare the literal crap out of you?
- Drought causes shortage in Wis. cow chip throw (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Wisconsin seems to be facing a shortage of cowpies. (troglopundit.wordpress.com)
- Tracking Greater Kudu on horseback (kaskazihorsesafaris.wordpress.com)
- Drought causes shortage in cow chip throw|With VIDEO (rep-am.com)