Recently one evening, while we were driving home from town, a car approaching us repeatedly flashed its headlights. Usually that would mean we must immediately slow down because there is a crash up ahead, or a Police speed trap.
The urgency of this particular driver’s headlight flickering, made me really concerned that we were about to round the corner and be confronted by a dangerous multiple car accident.
Sure as eggs, around the bend we went, and ahead of us were three cars parked on the left hand side of the road, and a fourth on the right hand side. People were milling around the edges of the road. And at first I thought they must be exchanging insurance details, and I looked for car damage. But after slowing right down, we could see that everyone was very carefully watching a small furry grey figure walk slowly from the middle of the road, over to the relative safety of the paddock beyond the road’s edge.
It was a lone koala, small and thin, crossing the road in it’s own time, and with it’s own awkward little lumbering gait.
How precious; how special.
There are many signs along this road to warn drivers that koalas do cross this road. But in seven years of living here, this was the first time I had seen one actually attempting it. And it was a slow process – koalas aren’t designed for speed-walking, or dodging traffic. So the half dozen people who stopped to shepherd this young koala’s journey across the road, were right to take such care.
It was a rare and special event to see a koala. And so heart-warming to see a group of caring locals, unselfishly work with this rare little marsupial, to get it to safety. Because, at that time of evening, with night falling quickly, and everyone rushing to get home, it could all have turned out differently. But all was well this time.
If only we could always be so successful at keeping the small and vulnerable, safe in this busy world.