it is like living with the void, life with kingston john

At last the rain came,

the tank had been cleaned out for ages

The birds had to go elsewhere for their bathing and drinking.

I missed them.

There is something about sitting on the verandah and watching the yellow-eared honeyeaters dip into the tank , splash about , give a  flick or two and then hop  onto a branch of the Datura shaking water off.

The tank is essential habitat for the birds and the skinks and us. there was a mob of tadpoles in it that had to be caught and transported to another pond when we cleaned it out. Kingston took this job very seriously and likes to sit on a rock near the pond looking , the water is so algae green and thick that visibility is mostly non-existent but already he knows the story of the tadpole that becomes a frog.

He has taken to singing, broadcasting songs  around the house as he moves from one activity to another.

A mix of old MacDonald and twinkle twinkle this morning ,the melodies seamlessly blending  together .

If you ask him about his singing he goes all shy and stops.

Best to ignore him.

Best to ignore them a lot of the time.

That’s when their best play is happening,

when they are absorbed in their own world.


It is like living with the void,

life with Kingston John

a warriors challenge.

I can only say thank you.

You might think you know him and what he is capable of but that is just having yourself on.

In the blink of a breath he can morph into a new behavior a never seen before pattern and run with it.

The other day out of the blue he snatched a little paper booklet out of my basket on the verandah, a little tome that identifies the koori understanding of the essence of some of our native animals.

He  snatched it and ran hell for leather to the toilet.

I was a bit slow to get his drift, my jaw cranked open in disbelief.

he had a head start little legs pumping hard,  determined and  laughed wickedly  when I shouted hey and gave chase.

The only saviour to the situation was that as he entered the toilet he met  John ready to leave. That stopped him in his tracks long enough for me to wrestle the book off him.

all the time tickled pink at this great idea he almost carried out.


Yesterday Kingston was helping Greg make lunch and gave his signature …uh uh uh uh uh… pointing outside. Greg yells out snakes, and we race into the kitchen and line up at  the window .

two big red belly black snakes were writhing  around all over  the yard down past the lemon tree.

Coiling twisting sliding and raising their glistening bodies up off the ground ,their heads going at each other, the vigorous movements of two males having a set to at the start of the breeding season .

the dance of ritual combat ,all about impressing the sheila.

was she watching?

We did, and initially thought they were making out ,

but then I remembered  seeing two black snakes coiled together on our fence line last spring tying each other in knots and  vibrating ,a much more contained energy.

apparently it is about getting ones head higher than the other ,something like mine is bigger than yours.

Not just humans huh.

Jess said,oh my god they are huge and  Kingston plays out there.

I’ve got goose bumps and she wandered off not wanting to see anymore.

Yes he does and so did she .

Jess her sisters and friends and umpteen children over 30 odd years have played here, in the garden and in the forest.

building cubbies,climbing trees, not bothering with shoes, not bothered by snakes or ticks or leeches or spiders.

wholly absorbed in the world of play,

all the time surrounded by other creatures going about their business and not showing the least bit of interest.

well most of them, the ticks and leeches are fairly keen on having a go at us.

later  that evening again from the kitchen windows we observed  the male swamp wallaby with the one fat cheek nibbling grass in close to the house.

The other day Zoe  was sitting in the wisteria arbour and he jumped in and started eating the blossoms , she claims to have  video evidence.

the mama wallaby turned up as well,  the little fella  poking its head out of the pouch and reaching down to tear up blades of grass .

Kingston didn’t know which one to look at, running from one window to the other carting his yellow chair.

Look how well behaved they are ,which translated  means, eating what we approve of …

Now look mum.

Oh dear there was  fat one cheek sampling the lemon tree leaves.

I went out and gave him a talking to .

Did  he hear me?

Did he care ?

that’s life in the forest , creatures have a mind of their own just like Kingston just like you and  me,

our only hope is that we can all find a way to  get on together.



today Greg spotted  two black snakes calmly loitering around near the lemon tree.

not touching, not yet but courtship perhaps.

the victor remains , the other vanquished

a new season of black snake life is about to begin.


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