Safety net

When Edith’s husband died so too did her safety net. At the ripe old age of 85, she was left alone in Slough staring into the face of her unlived dreams.

After a glass of sherry and an evening of soul-searching Edith, armed only with her favourite book of wildlife photography and a tear in her eye, moved to New Zealand.

The flight was gruelling. The train was a disaster. The taxi was stuffy. But once she reached her fantasy home, nothing mattered.

It was everything she’d ever wanted.

She was blown away by the silence of her surroundings. She couldn’t believe her eyes as the mountains rolled, the trees swayed and the sun grinned like they were showing off for a brochure. And when the wildlife made itself known to her, Edith was positively giddy.

The Long-tailed Bats had her smiling from ear to ear. The Kiwis caught her cooing with delight. The Geckos saw her skipping with glee.

But when she saw the peculiar Kakapo with its owl-like face and podgy parrot body, she was completely taken by it.

I mean literally. She was literally taken by a Kakapo.

Within roughly five minutes of landing in her new life, the local giant Kakapo plodded along and grabbed her. Being the world’s only flightless parrot, the Kakapo was forced to engulf Edith in its massive wings and drag her up the nearest cliff. After 45 minutes of this torture, the bird reached the 100 foot peak and chucked her off the edge.




© Carl Burkitt 2017

Brief by Erin Bolens: “Could I have a little New Zealand related something? I’m particularly taken by the Kakapo (owl parrot).”

This piece was written as a part of a fundraising project for Rethink Mental Illness, where I’m inviting people to set me any writing brief in exchange for donations.

Read all of the details here and if you’d like to get involved, email or Tweet @CarlBurkitt!

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