Lessons from a deaf brown chook

It’s always interesting living in the bush!

 

Our enterprising neighbours have turned their half an acre into a hive of activity. WWOOFERS are everywhere (see https://wwoofinternational.org/). After decades of inaction, the community agriculture lot is thriving.

 

Karl is preparing his garden for viewing next weekend in a Nimbin House and Garden Tour fundraiser for the sustainable living project at Sibley Street (https://nnic.org.au/) sponsored by the Nimbin Neighbourhood

and Information Centre where he volunteers.

 

Meanwhile, the neighbours’ chooks are destroying things as fast as he can plant and mulch them. It’s a battle of wills, as Karl’s flower garden looks prettier without a fence.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Both of us have undergraduate minors in psychology so we are trying to use classical behavioural psychology on the chooks.

When we chase them and yell at them, we loudly ring my workshop bell.


Classical conditioning for chooks

We’re hoping that — as in the case of using classical conditioning with Pavlov’s salivating dog (see https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html) — eventually the mere sound of the bell will make them scurry away.

 

We really dislike throwing stones at Ben’s chooks.

 

All of this is working pretty well — from our anthropocentric points of view.

 

However, we’ve noticed that the brown chook is immune to our manipulative efforts at social control.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Further, she appears to be immune to the rooster.

 

She’s not part of the harem.

 

AND (even more interesting), she forages for insects and worms in other places– not Karl’s garden. She’s always alone and apparently doing fine — on the eastern boundary of our property under the trees whose fallen leaves have formed a thick mulch.

The brown chook is an independent actor in our garden.


She seems to be getting enough to eat, lack of sex does not seem to worry her, she makes no sounds (none of this monstrous clucking all the time) and she walks her own path.

 

Maybe she’s a lesbian chook? A feminist chook?

 

Certainly, an independent chook.

And we think she might be deaf — and certainly deaf to the rooster’s haranguing   importations. (Deaf to the dominant paradigm?)

I already have a kookaburra for a logo.

 

But watch out, Guy!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



The deaf brown chook is nipping at your heels (oops, claws…)

 

 

 

STOP PRESS!!!

 

Sunday: Karl (legendary dog whisperer) has apparently fallen in love with the brown chook.

 

Apparently it’s mutual.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Logo: Why a Kookaburra?

 

Main Banner

 

Why a kookaburra in my logo?

Kookaburra energy is strong, bold energy. Living a solitary life in a harsh tropical bush location while I was researching for my PhD, I encountered a kookaburra who made a strong impression. It was March 1992. A male kookaburra flew in close to my shack in the forest. He settled on a tree branch about five metres away and called out–laughing and screeching. It seemed like an announcement, a `bulletin’ or some sort of `instruction’. Following his visit, my life changed dramatically. Difficult situations and relationships resolved.

I bring this catalytic energy to my professional work as a trainer, speaker, facilitator, planner and community engagement professional, often embodying kookaburra energy.

When we work with kookaburra energy, we pay close attention to opportunities. Believing that `listening is the social policy of everyday life’, I guide my clients to listen carefully – to themselves, their colleagues and to their communities. Messages from our inner kookaburra can help us decide which path to follow. As we find ourselves questioning our roles within both our communities and professional spheres, we can receive guidance about connections and relationships from kookaburra energy. Kookaburra advises us to respect other and seek respect in our work. Kookaburra’s positive energy supports professional insight, commitment and growth. Evoking kookaburra energy can create a ripple effect that invites positive changes.

Those who choose to work in this way may discover that a difficult professional journey is ending. New professional and community growth may already be flourishing. Kookaburra advises us to end old patterns that are no longer helpful by asking why we developed them in the first place.


Our workplaces are often sparse and barren places that are inhospitable to creativity and positive working relationships. When reflect that barrenness in our work with communities, the results can be disastrous. Working with kookaburra energy as professionals, we can learn to conquer fears and in turn, farewell ineffective, old patterns. Then we can be more open to suggestions from others, including community members.

The home-focused and deeply loyal kookaburra helps us hear challenging `home’ truths, as well as recognising our own capacities and strengths. In turn, we can aid others in recognising and acting on their truths. Community engagement, based on “deep listening” is kookaburra work. Working with kookaburra energy, we may find ourselves listening to others and teaching them by sharing our passions and beliefs.


While one of its lessons is to `lighten up’, look on the bright side and laugh at our foibles, kookaburra energy can be highly confrontational, teaching harsh lessons. This provocative work challenges our assumptions about how professionals should think and act – particularly in community engagement contexts. Always remember to be respectful. That is the most powerful message of the kookaburra’s proud energy.


I live in the bush and these marvellous birds live all around me – or rather, I live within and among them.

For me, kookaburra is the wise, loyal one, the remover of obstacles, who cuts through confusion and uncertainty and helps us find our way. Complexity and bafflement can melt away following the strong `announcement’ of a laughing bird. You simply cannot ignore that sort of commotion.  Once she’s here, on our side, so to speak, things are bound to improve.

She’s many things to me, kookaburra. She’s a mirror of my self.

As a wise and experienced professional, I could be many things to you.

 

 

Source: Partly adapted from: www.wildspeak.com/animalenergies/kookaburra.htm

Karl feeding Guy, 2011

Karl feeding Guy, 2011

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA