I have considered what is at stake and decided to tell this sad part of the story as a warning to others, if indeed there are others there like me, those who seek friendship among the lonely. Forgive me. I do not mean to sound dramatic, but I felt alone and thought that finding someone in the same situation would bring me comfort and enable me to comfort them too. But, it seems that I was wrong.
I was full of excitement on the day I was to meet ‘Tasmania’. It seems so long ago now. I travelled to our agreed part of the forest and waited. The forest was alive with the twitters and hums of other creatures and I, too, felt in the mood to hum a tune. The air was warm, the trees were green and rustled comfortingly. I perched on a log and waited, my head turning from left to right in search of my new friend, my heart beating with excitement. And then, ‘Tasmania’ arrived.
All I heard was the faintest rustle, all I saw was a blur of fur and claws, all I smelled was the scent of dead meat on the breath of the beast that leapt towards me through the undergrowth. Its jaws were open, its teeth were vast, and they were aiming for my neck.
In my astonishment and terror I fell off my log, a fact that must have saved me. For the thylacine that I now realised was my attacker landed in front of the log and looked momentarily confused. It may have continued looking confused for all I know as I did not stop to watch. I scrabbled to my feet and was off, fast through the forest, running blindly, my blood pounding in my head. I could hear it behind me, roaring, and I thought my life was over. I ran and ran and I did not stop until I thought my heart would burst. I lost the beast somewhere in the forest. My feet are sore, my limbs ache, but I am, I think, safe for now. I must be able to run faster than I had thought possible for one of my build.
Tomorrow I shall start on my return journey.
Again, please forgive me. I wouldn’t blame you for not doing so but at least hear my side of the story.
I was hungry. I often am. It’s how it is. I’d been hunting and had had a small meal so I thought I would be OK. Wrong. I was on my way to meet you, Ferdinand, when the wind changed direction and a scent was carried to me. It was a new and strange scent – juicy, mouth-watering, chicken with a hint of ginger. I sneaked closer and closer, drawn by the scent, my body low in the grass, the stripes of my fur camouflaging me against the bush. I saw a shape and I smelled its wonderful scent. Without a thought I leapt forward and mid-air realised my mistake. The animal in front of me was one I had seen only once – on your blog. It was you. I scrabbled with my paws in the air trying to stop myself. But it was too late. You jumped sideways – thank all that’s sacred – and ran. I called to you, begging you to stop, but you did not look back and I felt too hopeless to continue. I am sorry.
Ha ha! Double ha ha!
Ferdinand (author) says:
How can I trust you again? No, I am going home.
Ferdinand. You’ve come so far. Don’t let this stop you. At least come to New Zealand. There are a few of us here who would like to meet you, and maybe you’d like to meet us too. I’m a kiwi. I know what it’s like not to fly. And I’m not the only flightless bird here. Hint!
I too am a kiwi and would be very pleased to welcome you to New Zealand. It is a wonderful land.