When I was in Sydney, I posted about the wonderful and diverse world of people. So it seems only fitting that my next stop after the hectic city adventure would be a world apart, in the animal dominated mountains.
Garry and Cath, whom you were introduced to in my previous post, have been looking after wildlife for decades, and the creatures you see wandering around the cottage are remarkable, and a testament to the love they have for their work.
They are convinced (as am I, after seeing it) that the birds and wombats communicate with others of their species and tell them about this unofficial sanctuary. “Are you sick? I know just the place!” “There’s no food here, oh I know somewhere they will feed us.”
Birds especially seem to recognise people very well. They do not know me, so they are unsure and fly into the trees when I go into the garden, but the cockatoos will fly to the window to ask for Garry or Cath when they need more food.
They have also done something similar for the magpies, who would swoop most people, but they know them as the providers of food, so they leave them alone.
There is only one permanent resident wombat called Ticker (ticker meaning heart, which she has a lot of). A wombat who’d had a very hard early life and who was never ready for a return to the wild. The only place she could find peace and happiness was here, she doesn’t communicate and spends most of her time sunbathing, but she is as happy as she could be.
Just like Ticker, the Joey will see Garry and Cath as surrogate parents and the recognition of love and care is not long forgotten amongst animals, meaning that more often than not they will find birds and wombats thay seek them out, without human involvement- knowing they can be healed, or at the very least live the rest of their days in comfort.
They told me a story about a vet/doctor they knew called Howard Ralph and I thought it was quite poignant. This guy had a long day, and someone brought in an injured bunny, now rabbits are considered pests in Australia, so someone said to him “oh it’s just a bunny, go home and sleep.” To which he replied, “the bunny didn’t choose to be born a bunny” and started the treatment.
Garry never forgot this, so some time later when he was brought a crow with a broken wing, one eye and one leg, a friend said to him “maybe take it to the university- they might be able to use it and dissect it” to which Garry replied “the crow didn’t choose to be born a crow” and that crow was here for another year, living in luxury until he died just yesterday.
The gentility, kindness and caring nature of Garry, Cath and Howard is something rarely found now, people who choose to dedicate their lives to care for those who cannot care for themselves, not for money or recognition, but from a sense of duty that also brings them great joy.
I’m leaving them soon for Melbourne, but it’s been a profound experience learning from people with such an astute and detailed knowledge of Australian wildlife. I’ve witnessed some lovely, lively creatures and wonderful scenes I will never forget, and I want to thank my aunt and uncle for an awesome couple of days!
Thanks for reading!
Goodbye and be kind.