Sunday, January 16


While driving through a pine forest just south
of Rotorua I saw the bright colours of this parakeet
lying on the road.

Although it was It was directly in the path of tyres
even 16 wheeler trucks,
it was relatively unscathed apart from being dead.

The colour of its feathers was so vivid that
even after I had steered around it and driven on towards my destination I made a
u-turn. Two in fact.

These birds are Australian but they have colonised
parts of New Zealand
probably with human assistance.

My father, who until the last years of his life
kept birds, had a Rosella in a aviary. It think it was a he, they have brighter colours,
He endlessly paced back and forth on his perch,
and in a nervous equivalent of nailbiting
pulled his feathers out with his beak so that large patches
of him were bald.

Even as a small boy and not particularly schooled in empathy
for fellow citizens of this planet I always felt sorry
for the poor creature.

The body of this paticular Rosella is in a deep freeze.