I’ve been in Auburn again this week, celebrating Rick’s 93rd birthday. We had another blowaway sponge, and other small and sweet commemorations of his big day. I love hearing his stories of days gone by (and there are many of them – days and stories both). He spent so many years working in the shop, and shop stories are some of the best. One I hadn’t heard before concerned my grandma (whom we called mama). She occasionally helped out at the shop and on this particular day some folk came in who had been given a galah and wanted a birdcage to get it back to Queensland where they lived. That in itself sounds odd to me – there are so many galahs around here killing trees and making a din it’s hard to believe someone could actually want one to keep, for all that they are pretty. We sold birdcages (we sold most things), but didn’t have any in stock at the time. Mama suggested, as quick as a flash dad says, that perhaps a meat safe would do the trick. We did have one of them, and she thought that if the centre tray was removed it would do duty very successfully as a makeshift birdcage.
And so the sale was made. This story sounds like it comes from another time altogether – the middle ages perhaps. Now the person would just shoot off to the next town or Bunnings or some specialist seller of homes for pets and get a birdcage, and in any case who on earth uses a meat safe now, and would it be permissible to take a galah to Qld, and on it goes. I love to think about time and life and how we live and how things change. This story, small as it is, has everything!