In November 2010 ‘Til The Cows Comes Home was launched at the Underberg Country Club. The book has sold over 3000 copies in three impressions, somewhat more than the original 500 that the publisher John McKenzie and the author first agreed to have printed!
Now, 3 years later, local writer and vet Dr Tod Collins and McKenzie are releasing Collins’ second book, “Bull By The Horns,”
“Although this book is also a collection of my writings,” Collins says, “they are stories that have been sculpted in classical short story fashion; with a twist in the tail or leaving the reader bemused and pensive.” Some of the pieces are of course, amusing yarns along with the vet-animal-owner theme. However a crockful are stories about intriguing local personalities and still others are “simply good yarns that were waiting to be preserved.” Local artist Ken MacLeod has produced lovely sketches to accompany many of the pieces. “The more literary folk will perceive a depth in the writings, something that the current plethora of ‘feel-good animal-vet’ books and newspaper articles lack,” says Collins. “I have also created fascinating reads on subjects that are usually pussy-footed around. Compassion fatigue, the subconscious, pathos in humour, these and other human foibles have been cultivated into intriguing tales.”
“Bull by the Horns” tells of runaway horses, some weird conditions afflicting mares, foals and piglets, shady salesmen, and local characters of yesterday and today including John Lavers, Charles Taylor, James Geldart, Oom Koos Joubert, More about the Price brothers, and Velape Dlamini of Goxhill. Most are true, but a couple are the ramblings of a literary mind giving a loose rein to its rampant imagination…..
“We could have published a whopper of a book, of over 300 pages, however costs would have put such a tome into a totally different price category, out of the reach of the casual market, which this book will now satisfy. After much wrestling, the publisher and I have selected 30 works for this book,” Collins says with a sigh. The writings which have been left out will probably be published separately, aimed at a more serious literary market, and titled “The Black Sheep!”