It seems to be one of Hollywood's favourite philosophical themes.
You know the one about if you save someone's life you are responsible
for that person or equally popular is its inverse- you save someone's
life they owe you big time forever. From Christmas movies like "What a
Wonderful Life!" through to the Terminator flicks this simple message
is repeated. However, in the real world, given the behaviour seen in our
backyard a more fitting movie would be, "What About Bob?"
When Doug (2nd son) and his traveling companion were here we returned to the house one day to
find a young kookaburra floating motionless in the swimming pool. I
fished it out and although we didn't give it much hope, Doug wrapped
it in a towel and warmed it with his hands for a while and then placed it
in a warm area of the yard. We sat around in lawn chairs and had a few
beers as we supervised lest some opportunistic predator come by. Plus,
we felt like we had a stake in this now and we wanted to know how it
would turn out. Over the hours it eventually warmed up and dried off.
Eventually it crawled out from the loose towel and flew to a nearby
tree. After watching us for a while it flew off. Only recently did it
return for some steak strips. I figured that was going to be about it.
The young kookaburra with the punk looking head feathers that we
named Dirk had finally returned to take a peace offering as a way of
saying that he forgave us for our hands-on treatment during his
rescue. He would doubtless fly off and I'd never again get that close
to one of these creatures. Hail good fellow well met! Thanks for the
encounter! Adios amigo! End of story.
Today was cloudy and cooler with a morning drizzle. The kind of
morning that should either be spent sleeping through or on the couch
with a good book, a blanket, and single malt. As it was a workday no
such luck. The living room curtains opened to reveal Dirk already
perched on the railing. Great excitement filled the house. "Our
special visitor! O happy day! Your breakfast coming right up sir!" I
took five pieces of raw strip steak (they won't eat it cooked) three
to five inches long and a cm wide to fill him up and send him on his
way. What a pig!
An hour or so later. "Oh look who's back? (A touch of sarcasm
creeping in.) He can't surely still be hungry." Three more pieces of
steak said that he was. After he flew off Gord (oldest son) and I went down to the
break wall to gather saltwater for the aquarium while it was still
high tide. This normally mundane task made much more interesting
knowing that I am potentially sharing the rock pile with a brown
Want to guess who was sitting on the railing when we got back? Still
with the hopping along the rail until he is directly opposite me,
still with the leaning in with intent and the head bobbing, and still
with the bloody fixed stare. "He can wait." We made him sit there
until we were finished doing our fish tank cleaning. Three, maybe four
pieces this time with Gordon taking a share of the hand feeding honours.
The next time he showed up we made him wait even longer before
grudgingly handing over two more pieces of tribute.
I had to go off to my work around three and then pick up Jan. Upon
arriving home I popped the all-important question.
"Yes Dirk was here
"Did you feed it?"
Someone in this relationship has it all wrong. Why am I the one who
has to wing to the store to get the next load of food? Shouldn't Dirk
be the one who is off killing things in my honour? He has the economic
theory of supply and demand backwards. He shows up and demands and I'm
expected to supply. Seemingly I'm also expected to supply the soap and
water and labour to clean the railing after he has left.
Perhaps this whole thing just illustrates another time honoured
philosophy. No good deed goes unpunished. Ken