The splendid fairywren is tiny – much smaller than a robin. Its delicate frame made vibrant with cobalt feathers that put the sky to shame. But beauty is no indicator of character, and the splendid fairywren will spend five days shitting on your wing mirrors if it wants to.
When the woman from the theatre shows us the house, she points out a couple of things to note: first, the numbers to call if a snake gets inside and second, the room where the microbats live. Microbats are just like regular bats except shrunken; smaller than a fairywren and even more wretched. But, the woman says, if that door stays shut, they can’t get elsewhere in the house. Their droppings circle the entryways like a warning.
A life-size plastic horse called Phar Lap stands guard on the porch, its left eye blinded by a wasps’ nest. The woman sprays it mercilessly with insect repellant before knocking it to the floor with a stick. We watch from behind the screen door as she runs and jumps in her car.
The house down the road has wild rabbits in its garden and a kangaroo lopes nonchalantly from the path of our car. The woman warned us that the cows might peer in our windows but so far, they have kept their distance.
At night the cicadas and frogs form a deafening, ceaseless chorus through the true pitch black. Then, as day breaks, the kookaburra laughs and laughs and laughs.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 9th December 2017 as part of Internet Care Package.
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