There is a creek rushing down the rocks of the sunken bush valley. Houses perched on sandstone slabs jutting from the valley sides. The blue sky framed by the mountains on either side of the creek, and the gum trees all over the place all directions and stretching up all over in green and bark bits falling off after the rains. Above the creek and the horizon is a thick twisted power wire strung above a swimming pool where in the surrounding rocks are born lizards.
I come down here to the wire each day, it’s a good spot to sit and get a view of the pool. The owners keep it clean, and only seem to use it on weekends, and then only for an hour or so. In the meantime I can comfortably sit quietly and wait for a lizard to turn up.
But today is different, I have noticed a kind of menace in the air and just now two Myna birds have come and sat on the wire about two wing lengths from me. They start snapping like it is their wire. The lizard does not move below. Waiting for me, as I am for it. The birds don’t care about the lizard, they only care about territory, which is not theirs by the way. I clearly own the territory here. I laugh about it each morning but these birds will keep trying for a bit. I don’t move a muscle, but my right eye is focussed down on the lizard below.
Finally one of the Myna creeps along the wire, bending forward toward me, snapping it’s clicking beak in an earnest but futile attempt at claiming my wire. The same wire that we will both be back on tomorrow for more laughs. I ignore the Myna and then just inches from me, the Myna quits and departs for another place.
I don’t move, but wait for the lizard to come out. A cloud passes over the sky with a shadow below the wire. The lizard decides to go back under the rock. The creek makes the only sound in the valley now.
We shall see who comes again tomorrow then and perhaps get a better handle on the feeling of menace in the air with the sound of the water in the valley below.
CJS April 2012Photo “Kookaburra” attrib. G Crouch – Flickr