Monday, January 23, 2012

In the old gum tree

A rainy morning - with one sick child home from school, and a spirited toddler destroying the place - meant just one thing. As soon as I could commandeer the TV channels in my favour, it was time for a cheerful programme not intended for a child audience. Live! with Kelly won.

(Photo source)
At some point during the show, there was a wildlife expert on. His name was Peter Gros, and he had the most bizarre, helmet-like head of hair I've seen since Ken doll.

Studly, no? Debonaire? (I've always wanted a reason to use that word.)

He had brought with him an assortment of animals, the cutest being a 6-week-old tiger cub, drinking milk from a bottle. The Faery was most impressed. There was a also a beaver, swimming in an inflatable Disney Princesses paddling pool. I'm sure there's a good joke in there somewhere.

However, it was the last animal brought out onto the stage which set my heart a flutter. As soon as I saw its cheeky grin, I hoped I'd get to hear it singing... and it did. A wonderful sound that made me feel like I was home. Even the Faery - whose associations would be a lot hazier - stopped in her tracks to listen, and was awe-struck.

The bird I'm referring too? A kookaburra, of course. I have such clear memories of singing the nursery rhyme "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree..." as a littlie at school, and am a little sad my girls won't have the same memories - do they even teach it at school these days? I should probably teach it to them - it's one more thing I've been neglectful with.

There's nothing like the sound of a kookaburra. As much as I'm not a morning person, whenever I'm away from the city and am woken up by their call, I love it.

Is that not the happiest sound ever? A true belly laugh, as though they're in on a big joke we know nothing about.

Feeling somewhat homesick now.


  1. The kookaburras miss you, too. Haven't laughed once since you've been gone. True story.


    1. If that were really true, I'd be sad. Australia needs its kookaburra laughs!

  2. Wow, what a wonderful sound! I've never heard a Kookaburra bird, although I've heard about them in school when I was a kid, and that nursery rhyme seems familiar too.

    1. Wow, the nursery rhyme is known in Sweden? That's surprising, but lovely.

  3. Mum and Dad have a regular who comes to sit out the back of their place every day. Sometimes he sings.

    I don't see them so often here and I wonder why. We have a lot of other birds but I really just miss Mr K Burra.

    1. Maybe they know to hang out at our parents' places instead of the big smoke? It was the same for me in Sydney - didn't hear them so often, but when I'd visit my parents down the coast, I'd be guaranteed to hear them most mornings. Loved it, and quite a few would sit on the nearby telegraph poles so we could get a good look. If I was lucky, they'd visit the back yard.