In our last post you may have read of Kenneth's misadventure with Tusca the dog, and how it (and Tusca) shook the little koala's confidence considerably. Well, a few days passed by, and with Nana Kayzy's reassurances and numbers of kind and encouraging messages from sympathetic bear and human friends, Kenneth recovered his equilibrium quite well.
In fact, on the next scheduled bushwalk day, Nana Kayzy was surprised to find him waiting near her backpack when she came to collect it.
Nana Kayzy clapped her hands. “Bravo, Kenneth! 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends . . . ' no, maybe not. How about 'Onward, forward, shout aloud, Hosanna!'?” And so saying, she collected her backpack and Kenneth, and headed off to join Sharyn, Nyah and Tusca again – this time with a song in her heart and faith that all would be well.
Nana tried to think like a koala, and as she did this her nostrils filled with the heady aroma of freshly washed gum leaves. “You're smelling the gum leaves, Kenneth – good, isn't it?”
“Ooh, yes,” replied Kenneth dreamily.
They were walking along the bush road, Kenneth in his safe backpack position, when he spied a very young gum tree on the edge of the road. Bubbling up inside him came that 'big' feeling again, and he cried, “I want to climb that tree!”
Everyone stopped in their tracks. Before he could change his mind, Nana Kayzy quickly lifted him on to the ground, and stood back to watch.
Without hesitation, Kenneth waddled up to the baby tree, savouring the delicious perfume of those inviting leaves, and went into action.
“Yay for Kenneth the brave!” cried Nana, so proud of her darling.
The tree may have been tiny, but the event was huge for Kenneth.
He had found his bigness in a big way, and that's not all! For the first time Kenneth tasted those delicious gum leaves straight from the tree – ah, bliss!
Further along the track he found a bigger tree and climbed that, sampling the delights of its leaves and the joy of conquering the dizzy heights of its branches, swinging upside down and laughing with the pleasure of it all. Kenneth had fully embraced the bigness of the gift of life itself.
The final joy of the day came when they reached the big rock that had caused such trouble on their last walk. Tusca trotted over to the rock, jumped up, and sat down, looking apologetically at Kenneth. Without a word, Kenneth made his way over to Tusca and climbed up on the rock. Then the two just sat together in companionable silence as if they'd been friends for years, resting and pondering beary and doggy things.
As if it was necessary to celebrate the occasion even further, the call of a yellow-tailed black cockatoo rang out in the bush, and this beautiful bird paused long enough for Nana to record his fleeting visit.
When she turned around to check on Kenneth, Nana saw him lying at Tusca's feet, relaxing in the warmth of the rock while Tusca sat guarding her new friend.
PostscriptKenneth is so brave and big now, he is ready for adoption.
If you are interested, please go to my For Adoption page.