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Inga and the bird

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First some essential definitions for the benefit of my new reader;
Inga is my adult daughter who lives and works as far away from me as she possibly can without having to leave continental Australia.

Birds are 2 -legged animals which fly in the sky. They all have feathers unless one happens to be a plucked chicken equipped with a GOF Mk1, 3-stage experimental rocket strapped to it’s undercarriage.
Oops……newcomer’s gone already.
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Next thing;  I now need to waste some of your time with history;

I have occasionally written about the ‘sense of place’ and connection with the land that Mrs GOF and I feel after having lived for 30 years on this soggy and secluded place which has nurtured us, provided food and water, and protected us from harm.
White-fellas in Australia have a difficult time coming to terms with the spiritual depth of connection to ‘country’ that aboriginal people feel, but I think I am beginning to understand.

I’m guessing Inga feels something similar even though she will have her own unique perspective.  She was only an infant when we arrived here and to this day she remains the only child who was raised to adulthood in this neck of the woods.  Today there are three children in the neighbourhood, but in Inga’s day there was only herself.  She grew up with Merial her pet cow, played in the mud and wandered around our 46 acres making her own entertainment. Inga’s formative years were spent being an integral part of this very special natural environment.

Something attracts her back here for holidays every year and I’d venture to suggest that there is a force at play which is greater than simply the close relationship she has with her parents.
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And finally; The main event;

parrot feeding time

Every morning either Mrs GOF or I distribute a cupfull of bird seed on the garden path as supplementary feed for the wild birds living in the rainforest.  We’ve been doing this for at least twenty years.  Depending on the season, between 50 and 100 individuals arrive. King parrots, emerald doves and assorted finches. Whenever we try to approach them, they all flock-off up into nearby trees until we’ve disappeared from view, then they fly back down again to resume eating.  We’ve made several attempts in the past to ‘tame’ some of them and failed, so they will forever remain wild birds.

Last Christmas Inga came home for two weeks. Apparently this must have been a very tiring experience because most mornings she got out of bed well after the birds had eaten their breakfast and disappeared back into the rainforest.

On the final morning she was up early making preparations to travel back home to Melbourne.  As soon as she went out onto the verandah with a small handful of seed a lone King parrot came out of the blue and landed on the roof above her head. It peered over the guttering at her before fluttering down and landing on her arm.  Then it ate all the food from her hand before taking off again into the bush.

There is only one acceptable explanation. 

Inga was offering a token departing gift to Mother Nature in appreciation of the connection she has with this ‘country‘ and the bird was accepting it on behalf of all the spirits of our land and thanking her for returning.

Until such time as science can provide me with a more sublime conclusion, I’m going to cherish this one.

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A flabbergasted Mrs GOF hurriedly found a camera to record the moment.

Ingabird 1


About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

29 responses »

  1. I believe spirits of place (fauna, flora, those who came before) do know us, particularly those of us who grew up wherever AND I think perhaps even more so for those of us with enough quiet around to ‘hear’ them. Sounds barmy but I’m a spooky hillbilly chick.

    • Not barmy at all Lily. Most country folk understand it. As John Denver noted in Boy from the Country;

      ‘He tried to tell us that the animals could speak
      Who knows, perhaps they do
      How do you know they don’t
      Just because they’ve never spoken to you’

  2. Makes sense to me.

  3. Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. These are those very special moments when all is right with the world. 🙂

    • I never thought a great deal about it at the time Lauri, but after Inga had gone it became apparent that this had indeed been a beautiful moment in life…..well worth an emotional response and blogging about it.

  4. I like to think it was more of an apology for that damn wasp bite.

  5. I think you’ve nailed it.
    Parrots are really smart too, btw.
    Prolly The Wild assigned him the apology run.
    That is sooooo cool.

    • There are all sorts of possibilities Lauowolf… certainly was a very special moment in our lives. And you’re right, the parrots are really intelligent.

  6. I think I have understood the call to country since we moved back into my home grounds. Inga is a wise woman/

  7. Incredible! She’s freakin’ Snow White. I bet deer and bunnies would eat out of her hand, too. Great pictures.

  8. You might just have birthed the bird whisperer :). Nice story.

  9. That is quite beautiful…..I think birds know the good souls on this earth. I’m sure they think highly of you too GOF, but they go straight for the family messenger. I think that is what Inga is. 😉

    • Thanks Emmy and I’m liking the ‘messenger’ concept. Whenever Inga comes home the dogs treat her as though she is Queen of the castle. Doesn’t matter that Mrs GOF and I have fed them for 350 days of the year……their loyalty lies exclusively with Inga for the two weeks when she is home.

  10. Great post GOF; a really lovely story and great capture by Mrs GOF.

  11. What a wonderful story! I’m sure Inga must have been thrilled to bits. 🙂


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