‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree . . . ‘ Marion Sinclair.

13 Sep

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

There is a bit fat beautiful kookaburra that comes to visit my house most days.

Rather than the gumtree, he prefers to sit on the birdbath just outside my living room window.  The window is a large one and on the inside there is a little sill where the dogs like to sit, leaning up against the warm glass, watching the world go by.  The bird bath is about 2 feet in front of that the window (as the kookaburra flies) and sits almost at eye-level with the girls.

He’s clever, this kooka.   He knows the dogs can see him  . . . and he also knows they can’t get at him.   He will descend gently onto the rim of the birdbath, fix them with his beady eye, and then, when he has their full attention, he will begin his ablutions, carefully primping and preening his feathers until he has them just rightand then, suddenly, he will bomb the birdbath, sending water splashing all over the window.  It sends the girls into a mad salivating frenzy every time.

And when he has them all wound up and running back and forth along the sill, barking frantically, he will become bored with their noise, slowly turn, give them one final look over his shoulder and with a throaty chuckle, he’s gone.

It then falls to me to spend the next 10 minutes trying to calm down three agitated, steamed up and completely over-excited little dogs.

Thanks for that mate . . .


 Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Eating all the gum drops he can see.
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
Save some there for me!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see.
Stop Kookaburra, Kookaburra stop.
That’s not a monkey, that’s me!

Marion Sinclair’s Kookaburra Song won a competition run by the Girl Guides Association of Victoria and was first performed at the World Jamboree in Frankston, Victoria in 1934.


Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Uncategorized


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6 responses to “‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree . . . ‘ Marion Sinclair.

  1. stevetalbot51

    September 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    PS – nice colourful sketch Sal! 🙂


    • sallyinthehaven

      September 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

      P.P.S. Thanks. 🙂


  2. stevetalbot51

    September 13, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Ahhhh Frankston – memories what memories – lived there during my latter school/uni years – approx.
    1962-1972 – they tell me the place is a bit different these days 🙂


    • sallyinthehaven

      September 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

      We went to Frankston on a couple of short family hols when I was a kid and I remember it as a really laid back tents-on-the-beach kinda place. As that was about 45 years I guess you are right – it has probably changed. 🙂


  3. Judy

    September 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I was so excited when I saw the first few lines of your blog on my email Sal – Ooh Sally has sketched a Kookaburra! Then when I open it up not only do I get the lovely sketch but the words to that gorgeous poem and I (like many others I’m sure) never knew the second two verses, You are a font of knowledge!


    • sallyinthehaven

      September 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      It was only a very ‘loose’ sketch to be sure. 🙂 And I never knew there were two other verses either!! We live and learn . . .



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