Pretty late on an average Saturday afternoon in Sept 2014, with backpack and fishing rod, I started along a deserted walking trail of Wangi Point.
Feeling fairly neutral, I wondered if a hearty rendition of an appropriate song bounced off the trees would be the go. Briefly I pondered the following….
The Happy Wanderer – you know, ….’my knapsack on my back, val-deri, val-dera, val-deri, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, val-deri…..
The Sound of Music – ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music’…. Julie Andrews as Maria.
Climbing Over Rocky Mountain – ‘climbing over rocky mountain, skipping rivulet and fountain, passing where the willows quiver’… from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzanze
Despite being tempted to skip rivulet and fountain, I lacked a dress and womans voice to carry it off. Instead, I murmured a few val-deri’s and val-dera’s but stopped fairly quickly as I came upon some unusual wildlife not far down the track.
In the wrong place but doing their thing.
Two chooks scratching in the leaves and dirt beside the track. They looked pretty healthy, weren’t frightened by me, but kept their distance. I went on my way and pondered further.
On my return about an hour later, there in the middle of the track were the chooks. This time, they approached me but stayed at arms length. Perhaps the imminent sunset reminded them of their freedom and vulnerability. Figuring they were lost or had been dumped, I decided to catch them if I could. Speaking frankly to my fine feathered friends, I told them of dangers in the dark, however this failed to draw them close enough to grab. I left without them but with a photo or two.
I asked to borrow his comb. He didn’t like my joke.
The following day I returned about the same time, wondering not for the first time of their fate. I spotted feathers on the track and followed into the bush until the trail stopped. Not looking good.
Safe – and a fowl selfie.
As I walked back later, I came to the same section of track and was surprised to find a solitary chook, limping a bit and looking in need of a friend. Today I had prepared; biscuit crumbs were all I needed to draw the chook close enough. A short ride home in the car and, with no safe housing, the chook was settled in the garage for a couple of nights. It was plain to see that this animal was used to people, a likeable chook for sure.
De-stressing – photo by Madeline the Fabulous
Relaxed – photo by Madeline the Fabulous
Despite a notice on the community board of our local IGA supermarket and an ad in Gumtree, the chook(s) were not missed by anyone. Poor chooks. (Chooks, a funny word when you look at it more than once). Nevertheless, it seemed they’d been dumped by their owners; too many roosters in the pen was a suggestion by some. A cruel thing to do though.
On Tuesday I went to Rathmines veterinary clinic. Not their usual customer but they agreed to look at the limping chook and see if the owner called, maybe find a home for it. It looked like foxes were back at Wangi Pt, was a comment made regarding the trail of feathers. I had never seen foxes in that area but thought their presence likely; you could smell their dens along different parts of the tracks.
A few months later I called the vet and was told the chook, a rooster, now lived with a harem at Morisset High, agriculture being taught at this school. Pretty good ending for this bird. As for his friend missing in action, I was never sure of what happened although common sense tells me he became real bush tucker for local predators.
Late on a Tuesday almost two wks ago, I sat on waters edge of Wangi Pt contemplating the meaning of life. I had only been there a few minutes when a movement 10 meters away caught my eye. No, it wasn’t the missing chook. It was a fox walking the shoreline, head down toward me. When it was around 5 meters away, it raised its head and spotted me. Surprised, as I was, the fox quickly turned and disappeared into the bush. After a minute or so I realised that now I could finish the tale of two chooks. There really are foxes on the Point.
Words for today; Dumping animals – a cruel thing to do.
More to come; same blog time, same blog channel.