I was in the service station when the man behind the counter nodded towards the door and said to me, ‘There’s a horse.’ This is an uncommon enough statement to hear in a servo that I turned around to have a look. I couldn’t fault him on his observation. There was, indeed, a horse. It was being tethered to the fence by a woman wearing the sort of hat that, had I taken a photo, I would have deep etched before posting to the blog.
Later in the day, when I was walking past the hotel, feeling grateful that the verandah provides 100 m of shade, I tried to remember when I last saw a horse trough or even a hitching post outside a pub. I’m sure I’ve seen them. And not just in quirky scenes in Westerns where the town drunk gets dunked. Have they been sold off? Filled with geraniums? Am I just imagining it? All three? I was out in the sun a bit today.
- o O o -
Like his parliamentary namesake, Harry Jenkins the brush turkey is no longer interested in evicting all the other turkeys. He has relaxed to point of becoming lacklustre. Harry the turkey does not hurtle in from the other side of the garden like a black-feathered Fury. He ambles. He saunters. And maybe — just maybe — at the end he’ll make a lunge at the intruder. He really can’t be bothered any more. Harry has retired.
But what I miss in entertainment, I gain in not having to sweep dust and leaves off the patio and from the kitchen doorway. Two pairs of frantically flapping turkey wings kick up a hell of a mess and the debris travels for metres. Harry still likes to let everyone knows he’s around. He stands at the door, inflates his neck and wattle and gives a call that’s a bit like a bull’s bellow but mostly like someone practising the tuba. He’s still the boss among the megapodes. But I’ve got one thing to say to him: Hey, sunshine, just remember. Come winter, I’ll be the one with the red balaclava and yellow cravat.