We were driving, and saw movement under a tree. On investigation we found a darling baby kookaburra covered in green ants. He had a damaged wing and leg and was very distressed. We picked off the green ants, wrapped him in a towel and took him home, rang the vet, put a ring on his leg, fed the little fellow with slices of liver dipped in egg. We treated his body for lice and ant bites and over the next week he became stronger. We put a timber rail across the door to our garage about 150mm off the ground, adjacent to our BBQ area and he would sit on the rail in the cool breeze with his head cocked looking at us. When he was hungry he made funny noises and we would come running with his slices of liver dipped in egg. His natural instincts were incredible. He would sit on his rail and swing the liver strips, bash them against the rail as if he was killing a snake and he would keep bashing until he was sure the liver strip was well and truly dead. YUK, egg everywhere. One day I was sitting eating a licorice rope when he climbed up my leg. Quick as a flash he snatched the licorice rope from me and commenced to kill my licorice rope by bashing it against the arm of the chair.
When he was convinced it was dead he climbed back down and dragged my licorice (now his), back to his rail and ate it until his little belly was chock a block full. We named him “Licorice” and from then on after every meal he would hop over and wait patiently until we brought him a rope of licorice. Well, what with the liver and licorice he grew really fast and now he started to flap his wings. Two mornings later he was gone.
We were sad and happy at the same time and that was that. Many months later we heard kookaburras calling out. There were a mother, father and a new baby. Imagine our surprise when we found that our little “Licorice” was a she not a he, as the mother wore the tag we had put on her leg. They sat on the chair and waited until we brought three licorice strings, set them on the table and we walked away. As soon as we stepped away, Licorice flew up, then the father followed, then the baby and all three started bashing the ropes until it was safe to eat. We saw them twice more, then never again, but we knew they lived happily ever after.