Harriet, Timmy and Dixie the duck

Yesterday morning I asked Amelia what she might like for Christmas. Her reply was “poo poo!” (followed by much guffawing). As Big-P pointed out, she is a true McCluskey-Robertson when it comes to her sense of humour. So when I pressed her for a more serious answer she announced; “I think I might like a pet! Maybe like a hamster!” which is all good and fine but we don’t have hamsters here in Australia.

When asked to reconsider she suggested a “Guinea-rabbit”. Hmm. Perhaps even trickier.

Amelia later asked me about the pets that I had when I was a kid and she asked me where they are now. I told her that I was pretty sure that ducks don’t live much longer than 20 years so Dixie has gone to a better place (or has helped a tree grow which is the other way we talk about the after life at the moment). But Timmy is a different story. Timmy used to hibernate under a huge pile of lawn clippings in our backyard over Winter and one Spring – which was his usual time to reappear – he didn’t emerge. The clippings were removed only to reveal that Timmy had completely disappeared. Mum told us he had probably decided to head back to his original home on the Murray River. I have since had serious doubts as to whether he would have got there or not as it would have been quite the trip for a slow moving tortoise from Adelaide… but maybe, just maybe he is alive still somewhere – after all, the most splendid Harriet, former companion to Charles Darwin accompanying him on his trips on HMS Beagle, turned 175 yesterday. Amazing!