Monday, February 9, 2015


From behind a wheelie bin at the residence of the German Queen of the Jungle , out  jumped  Dracula, above, the Dutch cheese loving Coucal , recently released into the  wild  on Magnetic Island , and inspected  a  noisy  lawn mower   in  action . It ran about  the  mower , came up close, examined  the machine , then scampered  off  into  the undergrowth. 

 Later on it reappeared, followed the  mower  from  the front drive  to  the  clothesline  area  at the back of the house   and  fluttered up into  shrubs,  flew down  near the  mower, strutted about , scratched and searched  for  insects .  On seeing the Queen of the Jungle, the person who bestowed the unflattering name upon it because she said  it is as ugly looking as  the fang man , he ran towards her back door, no doubt  expecting  to  be  fed.
However, the lawnmower started up again and Dracula took off in pursuit ,obviously fascinated by  things mechanical  on wheels  and  a  fan of  the TV show ,  Top  Gear . 

Mower chaser
After darting about the mower, Dracula once more flew into shrubs, hopping from branch to branch and took up a position on the top of an aviary from which it watched the tall grass being cut down . The bird seems to have lost a tail feather or two . After the grass  had been cut , Dracula flew down and searched the area for insects , easier to find in short  turf. Dracula makes its presence known by making loud  calls at the backdoor of  two residences  and gets stroppy if not immediately fed. Out exercising her  leg after a knee operation, the Queen of the Jungle  was making her  way home from a nearby  supermarket  with the aid of a walking stick  when she suddenly became aware  she  was  being  followed  by  bush, street  and  tucker wise  Dracula.

To retrieve pawpaws from a feral tree  which had grown through one of   the Queen of the  Jungle's  aviaries, this writer , days after the lawn mower chase,   had  to carry an extension ladder into an overgrown adjoining property, some of the  weeds   chest  high,  snaky  looking.  Two Currawongs had already pecked a ripe pawpaw .  Carrying a  pawpaw in each hand, a  glance was made to  see  where to put my foot  down  the leaning  ladder  and there  was  a dark  blob  on  the  second  rung , causing fright-a  snake !  No ...  Dracula, the  inquisitive  Coucal ,  climbing the  fabled  ladder  of  opportunity . When  I  called out to the bird  it flew up  onto  the aviary , inspected  fruit still on the tree  , then fluttered off to the Queen's menagerie , where she gave  him  some  pieces of  the $20 a kilo Dutch cheese  he likes , which  he  is  shown   munching  above. In  all, eight fruit were  picked , leaving more  to  ripen.