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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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The Other Big White Blob
A Mombasa AAR



The First Tale: 1419
The Monkey in the Mangrove Tree

A long time ago, Best Beloved, among the twisty mangrove trees by the wide Indian Ocean, in the days when it was all criss-crossed from end to end by the swiftest of Arab dhows, there lived a monkey in a mangrove tree. I do not know what kind of monkey he was, Best Beloved, for he might have been a vervet monkey, or a Sykes monkey, or a black and white colobus monkey, but his name was Tumbili, and he lived in a mangrove tree.

Tumbili sat in the sun, and he looked east from his tree, and he saw the waves on the wide Indian Ocean, and the stickly prickly coral reefs and the sandy beach where the little crab Kaa played in the sand. And he looked west and saw the grass-tops rustling in the plains where the fearsome beasts hunted to and fro.

“What do you see, away up there in your mangrove tree?” said Kaa the crab, who was playing in the sand, but was rather bored.



Here is Kaa the Crab playing in the sand, just before he got bored and started talking to Tumbili the Monkey.
He was a very small crab, but he had quite a loud voice, which is why Tumbili could hear him from the top of his tree.​

“I see the waves on the wide Indian Ocean”, replied Tumbili, “and the stickly, prickly coral reefs, and I see your esteemed self, Master Kaa, playing in the sand, and I see the grass-tops rustling in the plains where the fearsome beasts go past in search of the zebra and the antelope and the wildebeest and the kildebeest and all manner of tasty prey.”

“Oh,” said Kaa. “Perhaps your eyes are not very good, then.”

“My eyes are the best in all of Africa, and you are certainly not one to talk!” replied Tumbili, somewhat offended. “Why would you say a thing like that, Master Kaa? If I were you I should stick to playing in the sand!”

“Well it so happens,” said Kaa, “that only the other day I was talking to Kilwa the baboon, in his mangrove tree, and I asked him the exact same question, but he said he could see a great deal more than what you have just described.”

“Is that so?” replied Tumbili, and I don’t mind telling you, Best Beloved, that by this time he was getting distinctly offended. “And what was it that Kilwa the baboon could see from his mangrove tree that was so interesting?”

“He told me,” replied Kaa the crab, “That when he looked east he could see not just the waves on the wide Indian Ocean, but islands far out beyond the waves, and when he looked west he could see Mamba the crocodile by the banks of the Tana River, and Twiga the giraffe, eating the most succulent leaves from the very tops of the acacia trees, and he could see the smoke rising from a hundred native villages, and finally, he told me, he could see the wondrous tropical snows on the summit of mighty Kilima Njaro. But perhaps he has better eyes than you do.”

“It is not that he has better eyes than I do!” shouted Tumbili, who by this time was in a rage, “It is just that he sits at the top of a taller mangrove tree than I do! And it so happens that I am going to pay a visit to that baboon Kilwa, in his high and mighty mangrove tree, and I am going to tell him that I am moving in, and I will sit on the very tippy top branches and I will see all the things that he can see, and much more.”



This is a picture of the very mangrove tree where Tumbili was sitting, by the shores of the wide Indian Ocean,
and as you can see, it really wasn’t a very tall mangrove tree at all.
Kaa the crab is playing in the sand just out of the picture.​

So Tumbili clambered down from his mangrove tree, and he ran and he ran, and he didn’t stop until he reached the place where Kilwa the baboon still sat smiling at the top his tree. And it was true that Kilwa’s mangrove tree was very much taller than Tumbili’s. When Kilwa saw Tumbili running along the beach he started throwing macadamia nuts down at him, for he was a very rude baboon, and his mother had never taught him any manners whatsoever.

“You get down from that tree this instant!” shouted Tumbili, all in a rage. “I am coming up there to sit at the top of that tree, and I do not want a rude baboon sitting up there with me!”

But Kilwa the baboon only laughed and laughed at Tumbili.

“Well, Tumbili,” he said, the tears running down his cheeks, “it so happens that this is my mangrove tree, and I am sitting in it, and I don’t want to share it with a very stupid monkey! Go back to your own mangrove tree, Tumbili, before I fall out of my tree with laughing.”

But he was only joking about falling out of the tree of course, Best Beloved, for baboons are extremely good at laughing while staying firmly put in their tree. Tumbili jumped up and down in a rage. He knew that Kilwa the baboon was only joking about falling out of his tree, but it had given him and idea.

“If I can make you fall out of that tree,” he shouted up at Kilwa, “then the tree is mine - agreed?”



This is Tumbili the monkey sitting at the bottom of Kilwa the baboon’s mangrove tree
and he is certainly all in a rage​

“Oh, yes, for sure, for sure!” laughed Kilwa the baboon, “And I’m sure it will make me laugh to see you try, but it will not cause me to fall out!”

So Tumbili ran off to make his preparations, for he was absolutely set on getting rid of Kilwa the baboon from his high and mighty mangrove tree.


Game notes

The nation is, of course, Mombasa in the AGCEEP, and I am playing with the 1.08 patch. For those who are not familiar with this mod, or this obscure corner of Africa, Mombasa in 1419 looks like this:


Not the easiest of nations to play, but then again, not (quite) the hardest either... Mombasa has two provinces, Mombasa Province, which contains the capital Mombasa, and Galana which is a level 3 trading post. Mombasa is uncomfortably sandwiched between two more powerful nations, Kilwa to the south, who have a core on Mombasa, and Malindi to the north, who do not. All of these nations and their provinces are Sunni and have Swahili culture. This means that there is room for an ambitious province-hungry player (who, me?) to do some expansion before the Europeans arrive in force. The only trick is to ally with one of the more powerful neighbours against the other. The first couple of experimental starts I made, Malindi quickly got into an alliance with Kilwa - not good news for Mombasa! No prizes for guessing who I ended up in an alliance with, and who I ended up going to war against...

Oh, yes - goals! Well, basically the title sort of sums it up. Aside from basic survival, and becoming quite a bit bigger than a city and a trading post, here are a few of what we’ll call “dreams” rather than “goals”:

- Take over all of Africa
- Unite all Sunni provinces
- Get more VPs than the usual Big White Blob
- End up #1 in the VP table

As always, however, the main goal is to have a lot of fun playing and even more fun writing it all up!
 
Last edited:
May 8, 2004
699
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I do not think I have ever read an AAR for this country. Good luck. I find that it is a hard postion to start in at most times. I would like to see a screen shot when the two white blobs are of equal size.
 

Zenek K.

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Feb 21, 2004
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zacharym87 said:
Hey, a Farquharsan AAR I can follow from the start :D . I've read your AARs on Tunisia and Nippon and at least half of that monstrously large Provence AAR. Best of luck.
Yes, it's a good idea to follow his AAR from the beginning. The last one was so big, so I'm just in the middle of it, just like zachary. :)
 
May 8, 2004
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Zenek K. said:
Yes, it's a good idea to follow his AAR from the beginning. The last one was so big, so I'm just in the middle of it, just like zachary. :)
He likes detail it took me ages to get through all of them, but thats what makes them the great reading they are.
 

unmerged(19936)

Canadian Bacon
Sep 22, 2003
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www.homestarrunner.com
Didn't take you long to start a new AAR, eh Farquharson? I didn't even have a chance to go into AAR withdrawal yet :D

Well, Mombasa is much trickier than Provence, but I have faith that if you don't succeed, you'll at least make it entertaining (not to say you will fail though).

I like getting in on the ground floor of an AAR. Maybe I'll get a monkey named after me :p
 

Van Engel

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I thought this would be a sensible AAR after the first line, but then the animal conversation. GREAT!! :D
Looks promising Farq, but then again you could crash and burn aswell! :p
 

CatKnight

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Van Engel said:
Looks promising Farq, but then again you could crash and burn aswell! :p
A zebra looked on as the crab and monkey talked. He turned to his particular companion, a tawny lion that sniffed at his questioning glance. Some thought it was a sniff of disdain, but the truth was the lion had a cold.

"What do you think?" asked the zebra.

"Depends," sniffed the lion. "Who's the other big white blob?"

"I think he's talking about Austria."

"Where's that?"

"I don't know," admitted the zebra. "Some place up north that's never heard of zebras nor lions, I bet."

"How provincial. Well, more power to him then." He sneezed. "What do you think?"

"Personally, I think he's going to crash and burn."

:rofl:
 

unmerged(28992)

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May 11, 2004
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How am I supposed to get any work done when you keep writing great AARs to tempt me on to the internet?! Looking forward to some extreme blobbishness.
 

Farquharson

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Well, I'm glad there has been a good response to my new AAR, despite the totally obscure country, and the totally bizarre style. I really just felt like doing something completely different in as many ways as possible (but still writing an EU2 AAR, that is... :D ). What's my interest in Mombasa? Well, it kind of follows on from Tunisia, Scotland and Provence as "places I've been" although I only spent a couple of months in Kenya back when I was a student (oh so long ago!) It's a beautiful and fascinating country, yet with even more problems today than it had back in 1419, of course!

A while ago I toyed with the idea of a "children's AAR" - an AAR in the form of a story for children, but I abandoned the idea, or so I thought. Obviously though it was still kicking around in a dark corner of my twisted mind, since as I wrestled with how to make a Mombasa AAR both "authentically Mombasan" and also entertaining, it struck me that Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories" would provide the perfect model. For those (probably most!) who didn't recognize the style, that's what it is!

My original idea was to write an entire AAR as a series of authentic-sounding "Just So Stories", but I don't imagine I'll be able to do that. Instead it will take the form of a series of short stories, probably in a variety of styles, accompanied by bare bones game notes to show clearly what's actually happening in the game. This will give me freedom and flexibility to try out different ideas. Any suggestions welcome!

Now some personal replies:

sliver legion: Yep, I think it's definitely the first Mombasa AAR ;)

zacharym87: Thanks - luck I think I could do with!

Zenek K.: I don't intend this AAR to be as long as Provence, but then I didn't intend Provence to be as long as Provence! :rolleyes: And thanks for your comments in the other AARs!

Greg45: I only hope I can do Mombasa justice!

Troggle: Well I can't promise to fulfil any of those "dreams", but I will do my best to entertain. And incidentally, you and anyone else who wants, is welcome to request a guest appearance as any creature or in any form that they wish! This will add to the melting pot and perhaps give me ideas for the short stories!

Van Engel: I tried writing a "sensible" AAR back when I first joined the forum (Brandenburg) but it quickly degenerated - sorry, I can't do it! :D

CatKnight: Glad to see someone who's entering into the spirit of the thing! Crash and burn, eh? Well there's an update coming soon...

Maku: Mwahahahaha! I have you in my power! :D

Corruption: Thanks! Yes, I think "fun" rather than "sensible" - well-spotted! ;)

Second update later this evening I hope.
 

Farquharson

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The Second Tale: 1419 - 1435
The Laughing Baboon

Kilwa the Baboon sat at the top of his mangrove tree and he looked eastward and saw the waves on the wide Indian Ocean and the islands beyond, and he looked westward and he saw the grass-tops rustling in the plains, and the smoke from a hundred native villages, and even the wondrous tropical snows on the summit of mighty Kilima Njaro, and he smiled to himself.

And just then he heard a rustling and a bustling in the next mangrove tree, which was not quite as tall as his was, and he peered over to see between the branches. To his astonishment, he saw Malindi the hyena clambering with a great deal of effort, into the branches of the tree.

“This is not possible!” thought Kilwa the baboon to himself, “Hyenas don’t climb trees!”

But he watched quietly for some minutes, and it greatly amused him to see Malindi the hyena in his laborious efforts, grunting and muttering, slipping and clutching, heaving and swaying, and gradually, ever so slowly making his way to the topmost branches of the mangrove tree. Then Kilwa the baboon, who had not made a sound all this time, suddenly spoke up:

“What a fine day it is for sitting at the top of a mangrove tree enjoying the view!” he said, and he watched Malindi carefully as he said this.

Malindi the hyena jumped in surprise. He clutched. He slipped. He scrabbled. He snatched. And he only just managed to keep himself where he was in the mangrove tree. Kilwa the baboon tittered to himself.

“Who’s that?” said Malindi, “You gave me quite a fright speaking so sudden and loud like that.”

“It’s me, Kilwa the baboon,” he said, “I’m sitting at the top of this mangrove tree, which as you’ll notice is just a teensy bit higher than yours!”

“It’s not easy getting into these mangrove trees, is it?” said Malindi, as he nervously recovered his balance.

“Quite tricky for a hyena, I imagine,” replied Kilwa the baboon, “but well worth the effort for the wondrous view that you get once you reach the top.”

Malindi the hyena looked round cautiously, gripping the branches as he did so.

“Goodness me!” he exclaimed, “You can see ever so much from up here!”

“Look over there,” said Kilwa the baboon, pointing westward. “Do you see the wondrous tropical snows on the summit of mighty Kilima Njaro?”

And he proceeded to point out all the things that he could see, although Malindi the hyena could not see all of them, because his mangrove tree was just a teensy bit smaller than Kilwa the baboon’s. And Kilwa then told him all about Tumbili the monkey, and how he had come in a rage and tried to get Kilwa the baboon to come down from his tree so that Tumbili could sit at the top of the highest mangrove tree, and how he had laughed and laughed, and promised Tumbili that if he could make him laugh so much that he fell out of his tree, then Tumbili the monkey could take his place. After he had said this, there was silence from Malindi the hyena for a little while, and then he started to laugh.

It started as a sort of nosy giggle, and then it turned to a sort of yapping sound, and then a high-pitched shriek that echoed around and around the tree-tops.

“Now that is a very funny story,” said Malindi the hyena, as he recovered from laughing so much, “and it has given me such a beautiful idea. Listen - when Tumbili the monkey next comes along and tries to make you fall out of your tree, you must not say a word. I will pretend to be you, and I will start to laugh. We will lead that stupid monkey such a merry dance, for he will surely be ever so hopeful when he hears how much I am laughing, and then I will fall out of the tree, quite suddenly, right in front of him. Imagine his astonishment when he sees me!”

Now it was Kilwa the baboon’s turn to laugh, for he very much liked this plan, and he couldn’t wait for Tumbili the monkey to come along. And so the two of them waited and waited, and they watched the waves on the wide Indian Ocean, and they stared at the grass-tops rustling on the plains, and they gazed at the smoke from a hundred native villages, and of course, the wondrous tropical snows on the summit of mighty Kilima Njaro, and still Tumbili did not appear.



Here is Kilwa the baboon, for I knew you very much wanted to see what he looked, Best Beloved.
This is actually when Tumbili came to speak to him the first time,
and as you can see he is finding what Tumbili has to say very amusing​

Then at last they heard a shuffling and a muttering, and they looked along the beach, and there was Tumbili the monkey, shambling along talking to himself, and eventually he came to the place where Kilwa the baboon and Malindi the hyena were sitting in the two mangrove trees.

“Ho there, Kilwa you great rude baboon!” shouted Tumbili the monkey, “You come down here this instant, for I want to sit in that mangrove tree!”

“Hee, hee, hee!” tittered Malindi the hyena, keeping well-hidden among the branches of his tree, while Kilwa the baboon just smiled to himself. And Malindi the hyena added, “How are you going to make me come down, Tumbili you very stupid monkey?”

“I am going to count to three, and that will be your last chance!” shouted Tumbili the monkey, quite in a rage.

“Ho, ho, ho!” laughed Malindi the hyena, “You know Tumbili, you really are so very funny when you get into a rage like that!”

And Kilwa the baboon just tittered quietly in the top of his tree.

“One!” shouted Tumbili.

“Ha, ha, ha!” shreiked Malindi the hyena, “Oh please, Tumbili, really I think I’m about to fall with laughing so much!”

And Kilwa the baboon sniggered and chuckled and rocked from side to side.

“Two!” shouted Tumbili.

“Har! Har! Har!”roared Malindi the hyena, and by now he really was swaying exceedingly dangerously as he clutched at the branches. And Kilwa the baboon was now laughing out loud, for Malindi the hyena was making so much noise that Kilwa was certain he would not be heard above the din from the next tree.

“Three!” shouted Tumbili, “That does it, Kilwa you utterly mannerless baboon, I’m coming up there to get you!”

“Whoo! Whoo! WhooaaaaAAAHHH!” Malindi the hyena came crashing down through the branches of the mangrove tree, and he bumped and he jumped and he smashed and he crashed and he landed in a heap right in front of Tumbili, who jumped back in alarm.

But just then there was a rending, cracking sound from the next tree, and a wild howling noise, which was Kilwa the baboon laughing fit to burst, and then more breaking and crunching and rustling and more howling, and then a loud thump, and suddenly there was Kilwa the baboon lying on the ground rolling over and over laughing so hard that he did not even notice Tumbili the monkey as he leapt and swung and clambered and in no time at all he had reached the top of Kilwa the baboon’s high and mighty mangrove tree.

“Oh thankyou so much, Malindi my friend!” he shouted “I do believe our plan worked to perfection. But are you hurt down there, Malindi?”

Then there was a dreadful silence among the mangrove trees, for Kilwa the baboon had suddenly stopped laughing and was looking round in more than a little surprise to find that he was no longer at the top of his mangrove tree. And Malindi the hyena - not a sound came from his broken form, and not a movement, not the slightest breath.

“Oh my poor Malindi!” cried Tumbili, “What have I done?”

Just then there was the merest titter from Malindi, then a giggle, then that peculiar yapping sound, then he stopped.

“Ooooh! My poor back!” groaned Malindi the hyena.



Here is a picture of Malindi the hyena, lying at the bottom of the mangrove tree.
He fell from a very long way up, but fortunately his fall was broken by some of the branches as he bumped and jumped and smashed and crashed his way down to the ground.​

“Oh my poor Malindi, have you broken it?” asked Tumbili the monkey in alarm.

Slowly Malindi the hyena lifted himself from the ground and tried to stand up.

“Ooooh! No, I don’t think I have broken it, Tumbili, but I am sure I have bent it something terrible!”, and with that he began to laugh once more, and so did Tumbili, and the tops of the mangrove trees rang with the echo of their laughter, and neither of them noticed Kilwa the baboon as he slunk away into the swamp, with a very large scowl on his face.


Game notes

The first event of importance was when I sent my first diplomat to Malindi in July 1419 to create a new alliance - they accepted! Woo hoo! In January 1420 Mogadishu (another Sunni nation north of Malindi) also joined, leaving Kilwa well and truly isolated. I’d spent most of my 100 ducats start-up cash on recruiting 4000 cavalry, and let me assure you, there’s nothing much coming in from anywhere to replace it!

I declared war on Kilwa in July 1420. They had nothing to match my cavalry, and I quickly seized the trading posts of Arusha and Morogoro, then with help from Malindi troops I besieged and captured Tanga province, then moved on to besiege the capital Rufiji. In July 1422 Kilwa handed over Tanga and Arusha for peace. Suddenly Mombasa looked “do-able”!

February 1423 saw me reaching Trade tech 1. Yippee, now I can send merchants to Zanzibar at 2 ducats a piece (mind you, 2 ducats is a lot of money in Mombasa, believe me!) During the next couple of years I got 5 merchants in place and trade agreements with Kilwa, Malindi and Oman, then I started on the Royal Marriage campaign - with every Sunni nation I could see, apart, of course, from Kilwa.

The truce with Kilwa ran out in August 1427, and I declared war again almost immediately, with Malindi and Mogadishu joining in. Kilwa hadn’t done anything in the last five years except build up a massive army on Zanzibar Island, but they certainly didn’t have a navy fit to transport it to the mainland. So I seized Morogoro again, then amused myself chasing newly recruited Kilwa armies back and forward between Rufiji and Lindi, trying to build up a respectable war score. Alas, I didn’t have enough troops to besiege anywhere and Malindi and Mogadishu’s now fantastically huge armies seemed to be suffering from ally-paralysis.

Then in November 1429 came a miraculous piece of luck. I’d been praying for a nice 100 ducat gift to the state (though where anyone in Mombasa would get 100 ducats is beyond me...) but this was the next best thing - Enthusiasm for the Army! 5000 spanking new infantry in Mombasa (which was just as miraculous as the gift to the state - the entire population is less than 6000). Within the year they had marched south and besieged and captured Rufiji, and Lindi followed a year later. In May 1432 Kilwa signed a peace treaty handing over Morogoro and Lindi - nice one!

The only other event worth mentioning is the great, but somewhat optimistic, noble family who requested 25 ducats aid in 1434 - in your dreams, guys! I’ll take the -2 stab hit, thanks...

Here’s the situation in 1435:


So, I can hear you say, it only remains to snatch that nice, tempting CoT in Zanzibar then finish off Kilwa for good. Well now, where’s that Kilwa army got to? Oh, there they are!


By the way, that’s the proud Mombasa Navy keeping an eye on them. Pretty amazing that 31000 troops have been recruited on an island with a population of 2600, but let’s not quibble about details - maybe they’re all baboons or something. Anyone got a suggestion for what to do next? :D

One last thing - the yellow green text looks fine to me, but if anyone is having trouble reading it let me know!
 
Last edited:

unmerged(23409)

LevePalestinaKrossaSionis men
Dec 13, 2003
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Looks great!

Any plans to take Zanzibar? I'd declare war on Kilwa to get a Big Cash Settlment after you capture their Capital.
 

unmerged(11018)

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Sep 14, 2002
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First I see this "Mombasan AAR" thread...

"Nah, enough AARs to follow it..."

:eek:
It Farquharson's new project! THE way to detox from Provence! Where you lead, I'll follow. ;)
 

unmerged(19936)

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I doubt Kilwa will ever have a navy able to ship all those troops to the mainland, so just ignore them and move north until you're able to put together a large enough cavarly force to dislodge them from Zanzibar (which in Mombasa could be a very long time).

The green looks greats, don't worry about that :)
 

Zenek K.

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Feb 21, 2004
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The second tale was as good as the first one. If you'll keep this quality, you could even publish it somewhere :)
As for the game itself, you were extremely lucky with these free soldiers. They appeared just when you needed them. And if Kilwa recruited on continent... this AAR would be finished by now.

What's next? You obviously can't go south, so it's only one direction left :) And like The Gonzo said, you could DoW Kilwa every five years to take cash.

Oh, the green colour is readable.
 

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An amusing tale thus far. I personally thought that the Hyena was going to eat the two monkeys and take the tree for himself, but I guess not.

As far as having the chance to be represented in the AAR at some point, I wouldn't mind being a crocadile or a snake of some sort in one of the tales.
 

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The lion and the zebra were on Zanzibar Island. It wasn't that they really cared for Kilwa the baboon, but it was frankly the only trading centre around, and the zebra had developed a taste for Indian tea.

The fact the Indians had their own trade centres, thank you very much, did little to improve his mood and so the lion tried to cheer him up.

"Well, he didn't take the capital," he suggested gently.

"Bloody monkey!"

"I really don't know why you're so upset. He did nothing to you." The lion yawned and sipped at his lime juice, for while Zanzibar didn't have Indian goods they had excellent restaurants with cold drinks and plenty of shade.

"I said he'd crash and burn," swore the zebra.

"So?"

"I hate being wrong!"
 

unmerged(21523)

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Two migratory birds were in flight somewhere over East Africa when the First Bird said to the second Bird, "What are those humans doing down there? It looks like some sort of patrol."

The Second Bird replied "They're border guards watching over the frontiers of Greater Mombasa."

"Since when they did they start calling it Greater Mombasa?" inquired the First Bird.

"Since the Mombasa-Kilwa War resulted in Mombasa annexing nearly all of Kilwa's territory."

"Curious," said the First Bird, "a friend of mine who nests on Zanzibar told me that Kilwa was building a gigantic army there."

"They were indeed," explained the Second Bird, "but the idiots had no means of transporting the army to the mainland where all the fighting was going on."

"Typical humans," quipped the First Bird.

The Second Bird began to fly lower and lower as if wishing to land. "Why are we stopping?" queried the First Bird.

"I had a bet with a zebra about the outcome of the Kilwa-Mombasa War," responded the Second Bird.

"Who were you betting on?" asked the First Bird.

To which the Second Bird answered, "Mombasa of course. Think we'd be stopping if I'd bet on Kilwa?"
 
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