And Another Goodbye

I only just heard on Friday that someone took Sadie the camel out into the desert just before Easter, and shot her.  They cut her up for meat.

I’d wondered why I hadn’t seen her for a while.  She used always to be around my place. She seemed to be very fond of me.  Probably because I was nice to her, and fed her.

I feel shitty about it, because I’d had a suspicion this might happen.  I’d made only a preliminary enquiry into finding a way to get her shipped to Broome, where she would have been happily received and could have been trained to carry tourists up the beach.  Sadie loved people’s company (if they didn’t hit her or throw stones). She would have been a terrific riding camel.  If I knew how, I would have trained her.

In Billiluna she was seen as an edible nuisance, her novelty value and cuteness as a calf now negated by her size and intrusive behaviour.  She was intelligent but untrained.  She could have been a great domesticated animal.  Damn.

Vale Sadie

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Vale Zeus

I feel as if I have been cursed with the Doom of Loss.

Joe messaged me today to tell me that Zeus was badly injured in a dogfight and died this morning.  Today I felt the grief I could not feel on Friday.  This could have happened at any time Zeus was with me in that forsaken community.  But it happened now.

No point in asking “why?” or “what if?”   Shit happens.

I had no qualms about leaving Zeus with Joe and Lina, They are good people and loved him as I did.  He was earning his keep as a guard dog and I was convinced he had found his place and was happier there with his little pack of puppy playmates than he would have been with me over the next few months.  Even if I knew where I was going I had no idea when I would be settled again, or whether he could adjust to the New Zealand climate after being a desert dog.  But if I hadn’t left him behind…..

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And then, just to top things off, I dropped my new iPhone onto concrete and smashed it.  It is buggered.  I have been waiting for a protective case to arrive that I ordered at the same time I bought the phone.  It will probably turn up tomorrow.

So it goes.

I remind myself of the motto I wrote on the ‘fridge after the first burglaries over a year ago.  I shall print it out and hang it everywhere I go from now on.  The lesson I have learned from these past years.

Nothing really matters.  

One Fine Day

Keke rane leana
Haele la sa vineki
Hake koa sa basioto
Meke zama si asa
Qetu hola si asa.
Meke hegere sa basioto. 

One fine day
The girl climbs up
Perching on the crocodile
And she says
She is very happy.
And the crocodile laughs.

Basioto Nomana

 
 Reprise.   1st Posted on 
 

Polar

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Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Once upon a time, a baby polar bear went up to his mum, as she was preparing seal flipper pie for dinner.
“Mum,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, dear.” She answered. “I am a polar bear, Dad is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No dear, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your dad”.

So the little polar bear wandered across the ice floe to where his dad was fishing.
“Dad,” he said, “am I a real polar bear?”
“Of course you are, son” his dad answered.
“I am a polar bear, Mum is a polar bear, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure. Your grandparents are polar bears, their parents were polar bears too.  In fact you come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”
“Are you really really sure of that?”
“Of course, son. You are 100% polar bear
“Are you absolutely certain? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No son, you are pure polar bear. If you don’t believe me, ask your grandad”.

So the young fellow toddled across the ice floe to the other side, where his grandfather was sitting on a park bench talking to his cronies.

“Grandad” he said, “am I a real polar bear?
“Of course you are, lad” he answered. “I am a polar bear, Your grandma is a polar bear, your mum and dad are polar bears, so you are a polar bear too”.
“Are you sure of that? Really really sure?”
“Of course I am sure! You come from one of the most illustrious polar bear lines in the arctic circle!”

“Are you absolutely certain, Grandad? Is there no brown bear, or Kodiak bear, or grizzly bear in me?”
“No lad. You are pure polar bear. One hundred percent.
Why do you ask?”

“Because I am feckin’ cold!”

Paul Goldstein
Photo by Paul Goldstein 

Adapted from a story told to me in Auckland by Billy Connolly.

Stormy Weather

Zeus got his swim today.

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See Zeus swim.  Swim Zeus, swim!

You can see the creek is somewhat deeper than yesterday.

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Day 3

Tomorrow it will no doubt be deeper still.  There is a storm brewing.

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Day 2

Now that the water is rising, the creek is the main attraction here.  Only three youngsters at the youth centre today, everyone else was already at the creek.   My three young friends only wanted to be taken to the creek too.  Unfortunately I am no longer able to do that as the Troopy has been declared unsuitable for transporting children, or adults for that matter, except one only in the front passenger seat.  Not just my troopy, – all troopies with sideways seats in the back are now classified unsuitable.  Not being able to take a group of youngsters out bush rather restricts the activities I can plan these days.  Getting out of the community and into nature is the best thing to do with the kids.   Fortunately we found some mums and dads heading down to the bridge so everyone was able to go.  Some of the young people were fishing already which surprised me but they reckon the fish have been stuck in a billabong until the river started flowing again and will be hungry.

On coming home from the youth centre, Zeus and I found Sadie the camel firmly settled on the deck of the donga.  She seems to have interpreted the darkening sky and rising wind as a storm on the way and has clearly decided she is staying here until it passes.

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Sadie

When she puts her head on my shoulder and looks imploringly at me with those big brown eyes, how could I kick her out?

Holiday Happy

Here I am in Halls Creek, just as last year, minding a friends house and Lani the dog again.  The poor thing has a broken leg and is limping around in a cast.  She is a sweet and affectionate girl and follows me wherever I go.  So I try to sit still a lot and scratch behind her ears.

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My own dog, Zeus, I left behind in Bililuna.  The neighbours were sorry when they heard I would be away for a month and was taking Zeus with me.  He is a good guard dog and his barking alerts them when someone is prowling around.  And there has been quite a bit of prowling lately.  Several break-ins over the last few weeks.  I have to admit I was worried about leaving the donga again, remembering always what happened while I was away last year.  Even with the cage, three padlocks and three deadbolts I am still a little paranoid someone will break in.  So I suggested that maybe they would like to keep Zeus with them.  I was happy they enthusiastically agreed.  Joe emailed me the other day to tell me Zeus has adapted to being with them without any fuss or bother, and that he had awoken Joe at 2AM the other morning to tell him someone was outside.  So Joe is happy too.  I am just hoping that Zeus’ range of observation extends across the road to my place.

It might have been problematic had I brought him up to Halls Creek with me anyway, so I guess things have worked out well.

For Christmas this year I have invested in new camera gear for myself.  I replaced the Olympus Tough that was stolen last year, with the latest model and I have already found it is a big improvement on the one I had, while still being submersible, rugged, and sand proof.  It is capable of taking some pretty amazingly sharp macro photographs.

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For the long range nature photography I ordered myself a new Sony Cybershot DSC-RX10 Mark IV 20MP Digital Camera. This will be my fourth Sony camera.  They have never disappointed me and I am told by a knowledgeable expert friend that I will not be disappointed this time.  I am hoping it will arrive in the coming week.

In the meantime I am just chillin’.  Sleeping in, having a quiet time.

I found a little visitor in the dog’s water bowl yesterday.  I rescued him, took a few photos and let hi go in the pot plant area.  Lani the dog was quite cool with it.  So I hope it is safe.  It is a Little Red Tree Frog.  Litoria rubella.  Which I now realise was the same species that I found accompanying the Green Tree Frog in the shower at the SPQ some time back.

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