Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Beware the Flight of the Kookaburra!
For all of you Aussie Mums who are thinking about taking your kids on picnics these school holidays, beware! These otherwise proud-looking birds that seems so jolly when they are laughing away at the break of day? These are thieving, opportunitists that will steal your food from your very hands!
Last week when I was teaching in Prep we had an excursion with all the Lower Primary children, and it was a wonderful, wonderful day. Except for lunch time! Well...a few moments at lunch time, to be fair. The children needed to have a good run and play, so before they ate lunch they had a good hard play on the playground at a local reservoir park. While they played, I thought I would eat my lunch, as did the mums who had joined us for the day. Little did I know a sneaky, conniving kookaburra (of which there were many in the trees over the picnic area) was watching me eat my sandwich. There were a few really. And I have seen them swoop in and steal a sausage off a barbeque and then wack the thing to death before eating it. Because, you know, a cooked sausage is clearly alive and going to bite back (they think they are snakes)! So I was wary.
But this one kookaburra that I had not seen? He waited until my sandwich, held between both my hands, was poised close to my mouth and then he swooped. I felt a soft brush of feathers on my face and a hard tap of its beak on my hand, and then half my sandwich was gone! He landed on a branch in the tree above me and proceeded to eat my sandwich!!!
We had words, that kookaburra and I, about his thieving ways and how this was the last little bit of my sandwich he would be getting.
And then I warned the children. Keep you food in your lunch box with the lid closed. Hold the piece of sandwich you're eating tightly and hold it close to you. Put your other hand over it so the kookaburras can't see your food. See? They're watching your food...they want to eat it!
Only one other child lost some of their lunch, to my knowledge. But they had left their sandwich next to them on the group (on glad wrap). So whatever. You can't win them all.
But beware the kookaburras when next you take your children for a picnic!