A few years ago, I made a friend that I will never forget. I am not sure what went on between us but I will treasure it forever. We lived on twenty five acres backing on to a state forest and always had an abundance of kangaroos. I never minded them, although a lot of others did. It was their habitat that we lived on and it was becoming harder and harder for them to find feed. So, I took out wires from the fences so that they could get through but not the horses. 

One day, as I was feeding the horses, I noticed a big old roo in the float turn around area which is close to the house. They usually never venture that close to the house even though it had lush grass, as there was always something happening. I went and had a closer look and could see that he was an old bloke and showed signs of old age. He was a bit thin and grey and at some stage a long time ago, had dislocated his hip and could not move too well. I dared go a bit closer, (as I thought he was not capable of doing much harm to me) just to make sure that it was an old injury and nothing recent but he got right up on his hind legs and made an awful sound at me! I just stopped dead in my tracks, as he was very capable of harming me! He was huge, around 7ft and was very imposing. I just froze, and in that moment, he could have inflicted some nice wounds on me but he did not. I just could not stop staring at him. Our eyes met and locked just for a few seconds but in those few seconds I saw and old tired roo who had had enough. He was not capable of following the group anymore and he wanted to just stop. He dropped down onto the ground and ate the grass. I went, "wow" and backed away.

I started to feed him as he found it difficult to move around and graze,and I looked forward to seeing him every day there on my lawn. Each day we would have a chat and then we would spend a few minutes in mutal silence just sitting there. I felt so privileged that he let me in his space, and that is what he did. I cannot explain what went on when we just sat there together but a lot did. It was weird. 

He could have sent me off anytime he liked but did not. His paws were as big as my hands and he would look me in the eye, tall and proud, and I felt I was under his scrutiny. I guess he would have seen a lot in his life time and wondered about me as I wondered about him. As the days past, I could see that he was getting weaker, I could not get a vet in as it would be very traumatic for him and how do you fix old age? I felt useless, so we continued our daily routine and he would look for me waiting for a nice treat and then we would just sit and look out over the paddocks. 

One night, I had a dream. It was so real. I dreamt that I got up as usual, got his food and went out to feed him. He was there waiting for me and he looked young and fit, not old and decrepit. I was surprised, and thought that he must have got better! I walked up to him and put the food down and he got up on his hind legs and just stood there. He then put his huge paws around my shoulders, I could feel his weight, feel his fur on my face, smell his odour, then I felt this huge amount of gratitude flow through me. It was beautiful, and I hugged him back. That was when I woke up. 

It was morning and I flew out of bed, not sure of what I would find. I found that he was not in his usual spot but had moved closer to a paddock. I could see that there was no movement in his huge frame. I did not want to go closer but I had to. The old fella had gone. I just sat down and cried. I now know what the dream had meant. He was thanking me for his last days of peace when I should have been thanking HIM for allowing me the privilege of his company.

I often think about that old roo and what a humbling experience it was to share a small a part of his life. I will never forget him.

True story by Penny lucas of Australia




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Penny lucas
True Story?: