Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…providing for the thirsty

With no family to hang around with on Christmas Day, I decided to visit Rottnest on 25 December. Everyone round Perth-way recommends it as somewhere to go and I can understand why – it’s beautiful, its roads are free from cars and it’s the home to plenty of wonderful quokkas.

It was my ambition for a long time to see some of those little cuties and after eating my Christmas dinner with an adorable family of them, I left on my rented bike to explore the rest of the island imagining that was my quokka time over. It wouldn’t have been a bad thing, that was a great dinner experience, but I saw lots more of them.

Cycling away from my picnic spot I saw some in a bush by the side of the road almost immediately. I stopped to say hi but the trio scuttled away for cover. Worried that all future quokkas would fear me, I warily slowed down when I saw another two a bit farther along the bushes. I stopped my bike and unzipped my bag to get my camera out, when they heard that sound they bounded towards me.

Straight over when they heard my bag unzipping. All I wanted was my camera.

I presumed they were after food, but I had nothing left that was suitable for their consumption so felt that I was going to disappoint them. I got out of a bottle of water because I was a bit thirsty and one of them tried to grab at it. Realising that they must be parched too I poured some into my lid and laid it out like a dish for them. They loved it. So would most in heats of around 38-40 degrees.

I later read, in the summer “Due to the limited availability of water, quokkas sometimes have to go several days without drinking”, so they were probably very thankful for the drink.

I topped up their cap a few times and one of them worked out where the water was coming from so tried to go for the source. It reminded me a bit about a story I’d read about koalas a while ago.


A Japanese couple came over and were very impressed with how well I was getting on with my new friends and tried to join in. One fed water from a cupped hand which looked like a fun thing to do.

Inspired by the Japanese, quokka drinking from my hand

I’ve never seen anyone so happy or grateful for a gift, at Christmas time or otherwise.

Feeling like the Pied Piper of Rottnest

Merry quokking Christmas, everyone.

Filed under: australia, ,

2 Responses

  1. freelanceflaneur says:

    This is a more heartwarming tale that whatever Disney/CBBC/etc probably attempted for the Christmas season.

    • Oliver says:

      Real life tales always are. I’m kind of hoping this gets picked up by a big film studio and then hacked away to be nothing like the experience in any way. That’ll show me.

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