Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dung Beetle McTavish

Once upon a time, yesterday, Mr Sunshine had some work to do at his mother's beach house, a forty minute drive from home. We decided to invite Lion and Dragon McTavish to come with us for a trip to the beach. It was great. We had a ball. The boys went home very tired and very content with their adventures of "going out to sea" (Lion's words).

They swam in stinger enclosure which was large and safe and, because the tide was out, the water was mostly below my knee level. The stinger enclosure, if you are baffled by the term, is a large net held in place by a huge, floating sausage. You can see it running through the middle of the photograph, behind Mr Sunshine and the McTavish boys. It is meant to keep out our box jellyfish (its sting can kill within minutes) and the irukandji jelly fish (not as deadly, but extremely painful). These jellies (click link for more info) have caused many horrible, painful injuries and deaths in years gone by. Children are especially vulnerable. The box jellyfish used to be called the sea wasp, but the name was changed because overseas tourists tended to be fearfully watching the air around them and still got stung by what was under the water.

I was also entertained by a flock of our large (60cm/24 ins) red-tailed black cockatoos feasting on fruit in a nearby tree. As they fly their tail feathers fan out to reveal a huge, bright red blotch of colour. Like all cockatoos they are the clowns of the bird world.
But back to the title of today's blog - Lion McTavish is known for his many alter-egos. His imagination knows no bounds when it comes to taking on the character of an animal or machine. He has been known to be Lion Excavator, Lion Front End Loader, Lion Huddy (Huddy being a Love Bird), the list goes on. We think he even dreams in character because he wakes up in the same character as he fell asleep.
In the car, on our way to the beach, he was Lion Dung Beetle. Dung Beetles are those marvelous little beetles that live underground and pop up for poop. They use their back legs to roll the poo into neat little balls and take it back underground with them for future . . . er. . . recycling.
Lion knows all this and was quite comfortable to take on a Dung Beetle persona. We were passing the local refuse tip when he decided that his house is a refuse tip and he is a dung beetle who looks for poo and rolls it up and buries it. He kept up the tale of his life as a Dung Beetle all of the way to the beach. Poor little Dragon had difficulty getting a word in. Every now and then I would have to interrupt Lion Dung Beetle to give his little brother a chance to be heard.
Who would have believed that Dung Beetles could talk so much!
Mummy McTavish was not really impressed about the house/refuse tip reference. I can't imagine why??


  1. Last night while we where trying to get the hyped-up boys to go to sleep, Lion sticks his bottom up in the air and starts prentending to roll a big ball of imaginary dung across the bedroom floor. Saying 'Look at me Daddy, I'm Lion Dung Beetle!'

    Just what we needed...

  2. Don't blame me. He started the conversation about Dung Beetles and all I said was "Aren't you glad your not a Dung Beetle?" I think that was where it began.

  3. ahm, perhaps I should stop saying "lets clean up this dump".

    He has also informed me recently when I called the playroom a pigsty that dung beetles like living in pigstys because there is lots of pig poo.

    This dung beetle thing has obvioulsy been on his mind for a little while.


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Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus


About Me

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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.

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