Sunday, February 22, 2015


Magnetic  Island’s  wildlife  carer , irreverently dubbed the Queen of the Jungle by this  blog , recovering from a knee operation, recently  had  cause to  walk  to the nearby  upswept medical clinic , Latitude19Health , to see about  a badly swollen finger.  As she emerged from  her  residence , without  the aid of a  walking stick, she became aware that she was  being  followed – by  the roaming , Dutch cheese  eating  Coucal  she  named  Dracula . 

Go  away , she  told  him several times  as she  blazed  a  path  through  the  bamboo and  grassy track  that  runs  by  the  Pope’s land . He took no notice of  her instruction to fly away, just  kept following close behind , like a dog. The  Queen had  visions of  hobbling into  the  clinic  followed  by   Dracula . She vigorously  shooshed  him away as the track neared  a busy  road , and  he reluctantly stopped , but  closely watched  her  walking  off. 
After seeing  a doctor, the Queen came back along the track and there  was Dracula  waiting  in a clump of bamboo . He  followed  her all the way home , crossing  a  road.  As  she paused  to unlock her gate, Dracula  flew off . On walking to the  back of her house, there was Dracula , expecting  some  cheese. 

Dracula has the habit of catching an insect, sometimes a grasshopper,  and  showing it to  the  Queen  before munching it down . Once he  dropped his  catch and gave the  Queen’s toe  a  hard bite , perhaps thinking it a chunk of Blue Vein,  which might become infected and see her  back at Latitude19Health  with Dracula in tow.

This Dracula  fan yesterday went to the Queen’s residence to pick the remainder of the feral pawpaws  from the trees  that  had grown through her aviary. Dracula  was  strutting  about  her  backyard  and  followed me  lugging the ladder . He flew up onto the  aviary and serenaded  me  with several loud  Whoop! Whoops!  Then he  took up a cock of the walk pose , below , on  the  Queen’s  clothesline .

FOOTNOTE:   Dracula  caught some grubs , showed them  off  to the Queen , and at  one stage even  hopped  onto her  shoulder  and  seemed to offer  her one . Yuk!