A British charity has given an amateur birdwatcher five thousand pounds sterling to hunt for an Australian parrot that is probably extinct. It’s money well spent in my view. The problem with parrots is knowing for sure whether they're really extinct or just lying low. A month ago one of my females said:
“Yo, Bananas, do you think the purple-crested peckerhead has died out? We haven't been woken up by that motherfucker for ages.”
“By golly, you could be right!” I exclaimed. “No wonder I've been sleeping like a lark. God willing, the curse of the midnight squawker has been lifted!”
And then, of course, on that very night, it was caw-bloody-caw as I slumbered in my hammock, interrupting a dream about my favourite episode of Little House on the Prairie. Thankfully, a resourceful monkey silenced the featherbrained fowl with a well-aimed plum stone, causing it to parachute to the ground in a daze. I marched to its landing spot and warned the parrot that the next time it disturbed our sleep its beak would be embedded in toffee.
Now I don’t know anything about this Australian bird, but it’s obviously high time someone got on its case. Its haunts should be monitored and its intentions should be exposed. If you let a parrot play dead in the Great Australian Bush, it’s only a matter of time before it emerges from its hiding place to carry out a sneak attack on some innocent wombat. I just hope they’ve given the birdwatcher enough money to do a thorough job. These expeditions have many expenses – a room at the inn, the cost of equipment, hiring Aboriginal porters, buying drinks for the local Sheilas, etc, etc. They should wire him some more if he runs out of cash before getting a good sighting.
It is possible, of course, that the parrot really is extinct, making everyone connected with the mission feel like a great big ninny. I hope they’ll quickly get over the disappointment. Extinctions are Mother Nature’s way of cleaning house, replacing uppity guests who’ve overstayed their welcome with promising newcomers. Dinosaurs, dodos and unicorns once thrived in pastures green, only to yield their respective positions to the warm-blooded, the airborne and the hornless. If the parrot is truly gone, it surely made the most of its precious time on Earth by screeching its head off at dozing marsupials.
Many humans don’t realise that their species was once close to extinction. Aeons ago, on the African plains, it was your relative Homo Erectus that stood proud, while the newly-evolved Sapiens breed teetered on the brink. We gorillas thought you were done for and collected your artefacts as remnants of a doomed culture. Then came the great Wanga-weed infestation. Your hominid relatives smoked the herb addictively and got so high that they lost interest in procreating. The men of Erectus lost their erections and the species quickly died out, allowing humans to move into their tastefully decorated caves.
And so, my hairless primate cousins, the path of Life on Earth is crooked, contorted and capricious. A lucky break can rescue a species from the gaping abyss of doom, and propel it onto the pouting pinnacle of prosperity, before it is finally sucked into the swirling vortex of oblivion. Enjoy the ride.
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