Mysteries of a Lockdown Life 1.0 by Kevin Mulvogue

In this time of a lockdown life curious mysteries suddenly appear amid the dwindling daylight.

However no mystery is as strange as the case of the killer kookaburra and the lady bug.

A few weeks ago Mt Evelyn appeared to have a case of disappearing metal garden lady bugs, well one to be precise. The other one liked to go crawlies about the garden bed. They were a present for gardener Grandma from the grandchildren some years ago. Each red and black metallic lady bug was about the size of a tennis ball, similarly rounded with a flat belly attached to which are, or were, six spindly, bendy legs. They answered to lady bug 1 and lady bug 2.

Two weeks ago my dear wife noticed that lady bug 1 had disappeared. No note goodbye, nothing, just gone. So rude. Lady bug 2 sat in her usual place atop the garden bed on a wooden beam, looking down on growing spinach leaves. She had either been crying or the rain had caused a few drops to lay on her metal hide. A search for lady bug 1, through garden beds, under leaves, up the lemon tree, showed no sign of her. My wife accused one of playing games, but lady bug 2 sat unresponsive.

The following day lady bug 2 was thought gone also but the search showed she had simply moved under the spinach leaves. Good move.

My wife moved her further, under the profuse Kale leaves. All good, no sign of lady bug 2 moving about. Until Saturday past.

My wife had just finished showering and heard a noise outside – a clicking, banging noise. I heard it too from the kitchen but thought it was a neighbour hammering a few nails in something. She, my wife, not the neighbour, put on her clothes, went to the back door and called out, “Darl come and see this!”

Through the glass panel beside the back door we saw a kookaburra sitting in the old magnolia tree slamming the bejesus out of lady bug 2!! Another kookaburra sat on the same branch, probably waiting its turn to kill this giant bug.

We were pretty stunned too. As I opened the back door the birds took off, with lady bug 2, and sat on the dead old gum tree in the paddock behind us. The same dumb kookaburra resumed killing lady bug 2 for about 10 seconds until he/she must have thought “this bugger just won’t die!” and dropped her to the grass below. I walked to the tree and soon found poor lady bug 2 laying upside down a few metres away. As I picked her up I saw five legs were smashed under her belly, one leg gone and a few dints crimpled her tough hide.

Poor lady bug 2.

So, here in Mt Evelyn we learn that kookaburras are bloody dumb, have fiercely strong beaks and need to find more worms.

More lady bugs are planned for the garden, but will now be made of concrete over a thick metal belly, given a colourful mosaic hide and be attached to the wooden bed rail with 10 cm screws.

Now that we are in Lockdown Life 2.0 who knows what further strange and peculiar things are waiting out there to puzzle or befuddle us.