Part of the charm of getting out of the city for most Australians is the chance of hearing the extraordinary call of the Kookaburra, an indigenous species of kingfisher.
But if you’re not Australian, you’ve probably heard it anyway – certainly, if you’ve ever seen a Tarzan movie. No sooner are the sweaty pith-helmeted hunters making their way with difficulty through the tangled African jungle, than an indigenous Australian bird, many thousands of miles out of its natural habitat, is clearly heard on the soundtrack.
Little did I know that the same anachronism works in reverse, only this time in real life.
My son and I are in the Dandenong Ranges, walking back to the car, when a familiar, thrilling sound rings out.
Me: Do you hear that? That’s a Kookaburra.
Son (8): No. It’s not a Kookaburra... It’s monkeys.