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?
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 !