Trog was wild: but she comes a bit later. This is the first in a series about the animals in my life. It will be in a new category of its own called Trog and other animals.
I was always desperate to have a dog as a child but this desire was not met whilst we lived in the country. We did have the obligatory box of silkworms and my brother and I followed their progress from egg to worm to silk cocoon and finally moth with immense fascination. Almost as much fun as the silkworms was picking the leaves from the mulberry tree for them to munch with us kids becoming stained purple from our squashing of the berries in the process.
Apart from the silkworms a succession of injured tortoises, usually with broken shells, were treated in my intensive care unit for wild animals. Most of them succeeded in making their way back to the river. We did not know then that a broken shell can be fibreglassed to repair it.
Pinkie was the first animal we named. She was a little white mouse that belonged to my brother. Although I can remember our delight at her arrival, my mother’s fear that she could already be pregnant and playing with her, I have absolutely no recollection of her demise, which surely must have happened. Perhaps she escaped, but even then I would have thought that I would have remembered the loss of the first warm-blooded pet that we owned.
Following her we were given a pair of finches. One dropped off the perch immediately and the other pined to such an extent that we gave him to a person with an aviary full of finches rather than watch him meet his end also. Now with an empty cage we looked for a bird to fill it. We bought a green and yellow budgerigar that my brother and I planned on teaching to speak. This did not happen. I don’t think our budgie was too bright as we certainly tried. He looked so lonely in his cage that I have never been fond of caged birds since. I can remember wanting to let him loose into the wild but my Mother told me that he would be killed by another bird as he had not learnt the ways of the wild.
When we moved to Sydney the budgie was the only animal that came with us, the cage crammed between the front and back seats covered by a sheet. Our fear was that we would be stopped by the quarantine officer at the check point and he would order the bird to remain behind. In those days there were strict regulations regarding passage of animals and plant matter from one region to another to ensure that disease was not moved from one region to another. I can remember stopping before the check points and being forced to eat whatever fruit we were carrying and not have it thrown in the bins provided. We got away with it and the entire family including budgie made it to Sydney.
budgie photo wikipedia