181. Bonding with an Australian Bird

Today, as I was walking by, I heard a familiar laughter. A laughter I have heard many times before in the Australian bushland during my trekking expeditions. It was a loud one and meant to get my attention. There were no one around…just me and the source of the laughter. No..it can’t be..near my home? Is it?

A Kookaburra !!!

It was sitting on its own swing outside a cafe. Kookaburra is my favourite bird. I think in some of my previous posts I might have said a sparrow or a peacock. Begging for apologies from all the devotees, I withdraw my statements. It’s the Kookaburra. I like this bird. To me, its a well-mannered creature. It’s beautiful, most of the time alone, thinks a lot and has a roaring laughter. A good package. Like me almost…kidding !

As I walked past the cafe, it began to laugh. Surprised I looked around and spotted it on that branch. Shouldn’t it be flying away? But it didn’t. I responded to its laughter with a soft whistle. It immediately turned around and looked. It remained silent. Whistled a few more times. It didn’t move. Its not scared. So, I took tiny steps and walked towards it, bit by bit. It remained there. I reminded myself that I shouldn’t be encouraging such an activity lest it causes me to form a strong bond with the bird. Didn’t want to be like that king who bonded deeply with a pet deer and had to be borne as one after his death. But temptation was strong.

I reached so close that I was right below it. It looked down with one of its eye. There was no panic. Maybe, it could recognize a vaishnava in the making. Maybe, it was laughing at my spiritual progress before. Anyways, it watched my actions. I moved my hand to my pocket. Its eyes went wide. I began to pull out my mobile phone. The eyes zeroed in. It moved slightly to its left. I turned on the camera. It moved its head slightly up. Click ! And that is the picture above.

I moved my other had slowly up to the bird. Nothing happening. It watched. My index finger reached near its body. And very gently, I touched its tail. I rubbed it a few times. The beautiful big bird just sat there. And then, it flapped its wings, gave a mighty laugh and undertook a fabulous take-off and glided away. WoW !!! I touched a Kookaburra in the wild ! My first ! Is this a record of some kind ?!! I was so excited today. And my chanting well too.

According to an Aboriginal legend, the kookaburra’s famous chorus of laughter every morning is a signal for the sky people to light the great fire that illuminates and warms the earth by day. And this Kookaburra might have been the reason why the temperature touched a melting 35 C today !

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