The Jungle’s Chooky Robin Hood
You have to love those scrub-fowl chooks
seen scratching in the forest’s nooks.
Like Robin and his Merry Men
they roam the jungle, cock and hen.
They’re dressed in dowdy blue and brown
while orange legs are bright low down.
And if you spot one, notice that
it wears a quiff-like Sherwood hat!
They build big nests of forest leaves;
communal giant compost heaps
to bury eggs and keep them warm
and hide them from the jungle’s harm.
And in the process, make a mess
of scattered leaves, continuous
that cover paths and walking trails
initiating human wails.
But most of all I love their calls
that echo through the wooded halls.
To some, it sounds like strangled kids
that shriek for help before they’re missed.
But night and day, their yodelling
is interspersed with chuckling
that signifies they’re happy chooks
despite their rather funny looks.
While I was living in the Daintree Rainforest, I loved hearing the calls of the Orange-footed scrub fowl, chortling and chuckling, squawking and shouting. Keeping the quaint paths to the guest cabins safe and tidy was a constant job for resort staff as these native chooks make a terrible mess, flicking leaves everywhere. But they always seem so happy!
by Celia Berrell