National Geographic

There were three little rabbits on the nature strip on the way to the bus stop. They nibbled the grass, adorably arranged in ascending size order. I was mentally coating them in chocolate and coloured foil when it occurred to me, that would make a cool photo. So I dug out the camera. One bunny heard the zoom zooming and zoomed off into the bushes. Bugger. I crept forward and press the shutter. B2 nicked off. The third remained, the tiniest and most wriggly-nosed. But just as I knelt down and got the shot looking pretty, he accelerated. There were grass stains on my knees and the bus sailed past without me. The next day I was walking through The Meadows. It was a sexy summer day; sunlight squeezed through the trees, lady joggers jogged by with breasts that did not move. In a clearing there was dozens of pigeons gurgling to each other. Along came a dalmatian, long-legged and goofy, bounding between the birds in that goofy dalmatian way. The pigeons just ignored him. Naturally the caption came to mind first, "Dog Among The Pigeons". Ah ha ha, you're so funny, you, I said to me. Finally I remembered that I hadn't taken the bloody picture yet. But by the time I wrestled with my backpack and got the camera fired up, the dog streaked away in pursuit of a poodle. Then a little kid barrelled into the frame and sent the pigeons reeling. He was blonde and annoying and had spotted a squirrel. The squirrel spotted the kid. The kid prowled around the base of the tree, grubby fists outstretched. The squirrel scrambled, but instead of going straight up the tree, it ran around and around the trunk in a spiral, and the kid followed, around and around. And so began a ridiculous chase that begged to be accompanied by zany music, like Benny Hill. It would have made a great photo, but I turned around and walked away. Maybe the squirrel jumped on the boy's sandy head, cracked it open with an acorn and gorged on the contents. But knowing me, cursed with the reflexes of a 90-year-old on a porch, I would have missed the shot for sure.

About Shauna Reid

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16 thoughts on “National Geographic

  1. Maybe buildings are more your forte, darlin’

    teehee, I kid.

    Seriously, the pic of the unholy rodent feasting on the squishy squishy brains of the innocent would have been a goodun. And if they slumped out of shot, you’d still get the tree. And, like, trees are pretty. and stuff.

  2. You need a Mission Impossible headset with a little spy camera on it to take photos of everything you see. With the added benefit that every bunny and squirrel photo would have the infrared target-tracking symbol built right in.

  3. Wouldn’t it be cool if you had like, robotic eyes that not only were perfectly sharp and had a zoom function, but that you could take stills photos with just by blinking.

    Oh and robotic legs that could….

  4. The breast not moving part had me cracking up. I can just imagine all these women with silicone boobs, flouncing around with wild hair and short shorts in the sun, like some crazy movie. The squirrel busting the kids head open and eating the contents kind of freaked me out though – reminded me of the “Faces of Death” video where the people eat the monkey brains while the monkeys are alive, kicking and screaming. What a site!!

  5. Animals are the worst. i’m working on my 26 photos for ’26 things’ challenge, and taking photos of my dogs and cats for ‘small things, animal, authority and sound’ has been the hardest part. They just won’t stay still. They either try to lick the camera, or look away from it.

  6. This is why a handycam beats a still camera any old day. There’s a lot of money to be made on Australia’s Funniest Home Videos, Shauny. If you keep stumbling across these crackerjack mis-en-scenes, seriously. They’re currently paying $500 just to SCREEN the things!

    It doesn’t require winning, just screening!

    I’ve been thinking up goofy scenarios for months!

  7. Hi Shauny

    Instead of reflecting on your abilities as an off-the-cuff photographer, you should have realised that Canberra or Edinburgh, New Norfolk or New York, people are people.

    Half the world away from home, this is noteworthy. Would it have been in the ACT?

    The animals are different, the background etc, but my feeling is that you’re missing “home”. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, it’s perfectly natural.

    That’s what’s makes you, and reading you, human.

    Don’t change!


  8. “Maybe the squirrel jumped on the boy’s sandy head, cracked it open with an acorn and gorged on the contents. ”

    Probably for the best…

  9. Is “dalmation” the UK/Aus. spelling of “dalmatian?” Sounds suspiciously close to damnation. The spots, of course, are all an act. Within every microbe of black pigment lies a thousand demons waiting to assault you with Jevhoah’s witness pamphlets.

  10. If you walk through The Meadows in the early evening (ie, like me on my way home from work), you’ll notice that the joggers don’t just go around in ones or twos. They jog in *huge* packs, like the peloton in the Tour de France, mowing down innocent pedestrians as they go.

  11. i had a lovely shot of some pigeons at trafalgar square arranged when some turd little kid ran into the shot and scattered the birds.

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