Dave Freer, that truly wonderful guy, doesn’t like bullies either. If you ever get the chance to meet him, be prepared to laugh. His sense of humor is much worse than his bite.
I spent today, with other Islander friends, Aboriginal and otherwise, taking my part a traditional hunting practice that goes back oh, maybe 30 000 years. “Birdin’“ – collecting the large chicks of Short-tailed Shearwaters (which, for the record, makes more ecological sense than shooting or trapping adult birds, and is certainly less cruel than commercial chicken farming). It involves sticking your hand – really fast, down a burrow, and catching the bird before its sharp beak slices you or claws scratch your hands.
You can’t wear gloves, because the holes are also the favorite homes of Australian tiger snakes and copperheads (also partial to muttonbirds). The only way you can tell what you’re going to find in the hole is the temperature. Oh, and as the hole is much deeper than your arm is long you have put your hand in (and reach the decision on what you might find…
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