Thursday, November 24, 2011

Merry, Merry King of the Bush is He

Do you know that song? "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree..."? I don't know how we knew it, but we sang it in my little Florida elementary school, along with reading the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". You know, the one where Alexander goes on and on about what a terrible day he's had, and the refrain is, "I think I'll move to Australia." Because to him--and to us at that time, I guess--Australia seemed about the farthest place in the world from where we were. A place to get away from everybody who was bugging you.

It's funny how life sends you little previews of what's to come sometimes. Like in 1999, a few months before we got married, Jason remarked to me, "I wouldn't mind ending up in Australia someday." This because he'd met some really cool Aussies while backpacking in Europe. (Note: Aussies are probably the most fun travel-buddies ever. Plus, they're everywhere in Europe: fact.)
And when he said that, it just seemed like the most far-fetched thing ever. I dismissed it without another thought. Hah!

Anyway--the kookaburra! Today, Grace and I were sitting out on our balcony when one landed on the railing. This isn't all that uncommon really, but I pointed him out to her. We see them regularly, but not always up close like this. And this guy was less shy than most, he hung around for awhile.
Grace decided to walk down to that end of the balcony and say hello. Literally; "Hi, bird."
As Jason was taking this photo, I realized that kookaburra was really eyeing the bread she had in her hand. And I remembered a couple years ago when we went to the zoo, a kookaburra had swooped down at the food court and stolen a chicken nugget right out of Nate's hand. The ethics of a kookaburra eating chicken notwithstanding, Nate had been pretty startled that day! And the way this one was eyeing her snack, I thought he was about to do the same. See? I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but he was totally zoning in on it. So I went over and grabbed it from her and took it inside.

About an hour later, Grace was inside, sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch. I wasn't in the room, but Jase said the kookaburra came back and landed on the railing again--right outside the (closed) sliding glass door. He said the bird just sat there, looking in while she ate. Hmmm, can birds be wistful?
Sorry, mate. No PB&J for you. Just a few dozen more of you and we'll have an Alfred Hitchcock movie on our hands.

--Hey! Are you Thanksgiving-ing? If so, happy day to you! Ingest large amounts of casserole, cornbread and turkey on my behalf. And tell someone you're thankful for them. Just like I am for you. Awwww. xoxo


  1. Well, I think that bird did have designs on her bread. How funny that he came back! She looks pleased to see him close up. It is a strange one. Never knew Jason said that about Australia. By any chance did he ever say the same thing about Antarctica? Just yoking ! I know your day of thanksgiving is over, but ours has just begun. I will be giving many thanks for the Hubbarts and hold you in my heart as we gather with family. Baby Gabe is here (as are his parents) and I'm sure he'll ask about you all. Kiss those precious ones and yourself for me. I'll save you some dressing.

  2. Read this post a few days ago, and have been singing that "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" song to myself ever since! ;-) I can't wait until Shay appreciates Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day -- one of my most favoritist books! Hope you had a very happy "holiday" abroad. I remember vividly trying to recreate the American holiday when I was living in France...