Due to repeated requests from several correspondents who read my writeup on the 1964 South African banning of "When the Lion Feeds", I quote hereunder from the minority opinion (Mr Justice Rumpff) of the reported judgment cited as Publications Control Board v William Heinemann Ltd 1965 (5) SA 137 (AD). The relevant pages of the report are 159 G - 159 B:
'When The Lion Feeds' (458 pages) is a vigorous book not written for juveniles or prudes. It is obviously meant for adults and will appeal particularly to men of the world who know something of life, the history of Natal and the Transvaal, the Lowveld and its game. The book is divided into three parts. The first deals with the childhood and youth of twin brothers who are quite unlike each other. They grow up on a cattle farm in Natal. Sean is the stronger and more ruthless of the two. The story generally is tough, and there are introduced into this part the Zulu Wars and the massacre at Isandhlwana. In chap. 11 the author briefly describes the change of the two brothers from childhood to young manhood. He states: 'It was riding a strong current being swept with speed along the river of life.' The chapter is divided in paragraphs of various length, each with a subtitle. They read as follows: 'There were parts of the river that flowed steadily', 'There were parts of the river that ran faster', 'There were landmarks along the course of the river', 'Some of them small as a pile of rocks in shallow water', 'Some of the landmarks were big as headlands', 'In the river there were whirlpools'. It is under this last-mentioned sub-title that the author describes how Sean is seduced by the hotblooded farm girl Anna after swimming in the nude. She takes his shirt and dries her face on it, 'standing naked and unashamed - she had too many brothers for modesty'. They sit together and then comes the following passage:
''You've got hairs on your chest,' Anna said, turning to look at him. Sparse and silky though they were, Sean was glad that he had them. He straightened out his legs.
'And you're much bigger there than Frikkie.' Sean tried to pull up his knees again but she put her hand on his leg and stopped him.
'Can I touch you?'
Sean tried to speak but his throat had closed and no sound came through it. Anna did not wait for an answer.
'Oh, look! It's getting all cheeky - just like Caribou's.'
Caribou was Mr. Van Essen's stallion.
'I always know when Pa is going to let Caribou service a mare, he tells me to go and visit Aunt Lettie. I just hide in the plantation. You can see the paddock jolly well from the plantation.'
Anna's hand was soft and restless, Sean could think of nothing else.
'Do you know that people service, just like horses do?' she asked.
Sean nodded, he had attended the biology classes conducted by Messrs Daffel and Company in the school latrines. They were quiet for a while, then Anna whispered.
'Sean, would you service me?'
'I don't know how,' croaked Sean.
'I bet horses don't either the first time, nor people for that matter,' Anna said. 'We could find out.'
They rode home in the early evening, Anna sitting up behind Sean, her arms tight round his waist and the side of her face pressed between his shoulders. He dropped her at the back of the plantation.
'I'll see you at school on Monday,' she said and turned to go.
'Anna - '
'Is it still sore?'
'No,' and then, after a moment's thought, 'it feels nice.'
She turned and ran into the wattle trees.
Sean rode slowly home. He was empty inside; it was a sad feeling and it puzzled him.'
In chap. 13 there is a description of another occasion on which these two have intercourse. At the pool in the river they make love to each other and the following occurs:
'Now, kneeling before her, as she lay with her head thrown back and her arms half-raised to receive him, Sean suddenly bowed his head and touched her with his mouth. The taste of her was clean as the taste of the sea.
Her eyes flew open. 'Sean, no, you mustn't - oh no, you mustn't.'
There were lips within lips and a bud as softly resilient as a tiny green grape. Sean found it with the tip of his tongue.
'Oh, Sean, you can't do that. Please, please, please.' And her hands were in the thick hair at the back of his head holding him there.
'I can't stand it any more, come over me . . . quickly, quickly, Sean.'
Filling like a sail in a hurricane, swollen and hard and tight, stretched beyond its limit until it burst and was blown to shreds in the wind and was gone. Everything gone. The wind and the sail, the tension and the wanting, all gone. There was left only the great nothingness which is peace. Perhaps a kind of death; perhaps death is like that. But, like death, not an ending - for even death
contains the seeds of resurrection. So they came back from peace to a new beginning, slowly at first and then faster until they were two people again. Two people on a blanket among reeds with the sunlight white on the sand about them.
'Each time it's better and better - isn't it, Sean?'
'Ah!' Sean stretched, arching his back and spreading his arms.
'Sean, you do love me, don't you?'
'Sure. Sure I love you.'
'I think you must love me to have done' - she hesitated - 'to do what you did.' 'I just said so, didn't I?' Sean's attention wandered to the basket. He selected an apple and polished it on the blanket.
'Tell me properly. Hold me tight and tell me.'
'Hell, Anna, how many times have I got to say it?' Sean bit into the apple. 'Did you bring any of your Ma's shortbread?''