One of the amazing privileges of having ‘gone bush’ is the proximity to the wildlife with which we share our home. When we first arrived at Seventy Seven Acres, one regular visitor was a small kangaroo of the Eastern Grey persuasion who had obviously suffered some trauma in the past. She had scars on her hip and an extra bend in her tail.
She may well have been a rescue ‘roo, because she showed no concern at our arrival, and turned up most evenings to munch on the grass and clover in our lawn. We knew nothing about kangaroos, really, but had been used to the mob that hung around our old place in the suburbs of Canberra. This little lady was quite a bit smaller and had some dark markings that we didn’t recognise. Perhaps she was some sort of wallaby?
She provided hours of watching pleasure, especially since she had a joey of delicate build and cheeky nature who often had a ‘mad half hour’, leaping joyously around the garden. Sometimes she would curl up under the grevillea to have a nap, and, in the rain, she would hide under the eaves right outside the big glass door of our bedroom.
Yeah, I know it seems stupid, but we ended up giving her a name… although we simply called them ‘A’ and ‘B’ to begin with. But ‘B’ came to be Beatrice (Bea for short), so we had to give ‘A’ a name. She became Anastasia, or Annie, and what a calm nature and self-contained character she displayed.
No, we couldn’t exactly approach her, and, no, we didn’t want to do so, but she wouldn’t run away if we went outside to, say, bring the washing in, pick some fruit or veg from the garden, or put scraps on the compost heap. She would maybe look up, check what we were doing, and then return to concentrating on her meal.
Once, she was visiting the garden early in the morning and an admirer had followed her up. Big, muscley guy, he was. All boy. I turned the tap on in the kitchen to fill the kettle for my morning cuppa, and he turned and ran.
Annie didn’t even blink. The fella stopped at the back gate and looked back, and you could have sworn he was saying something like, “Come on, I’ll keep you safe!”
Annie’s response? Well, if she could she would have rolled her eyes.
Bea didn’t move either.
The following year Annie had a new joey, and I nearly expired with impatience waiting to see little Cherise eventually appear from the pouch. If anything, in the end, Cherise was madder and even cheekier than Bea, now a young ‘teen’, sometimes there with Annie, more often running with a mob of young bucks.
This year, Annie had another joey, Desiree, to keep Cherise company.
And Bea came back, with Eugenie.
We actually see Bea and Eugenie more often than the others at the moment.
Okay, we know this naming thing is going to get way out of hand, but these ‘roos are kinda like family, now. Others come to visit (I once came home to find a whole mob of young males occupying the back garden), but these girls are part of the scenery.
We talk to them, they twitch their ears, look at us placidly as they chew their cud, and gallantly let us live on their patch.