Day 9. Adventure

In August 2012 on August 21, 2012 at 11:17 am

Funny how a single sentence can trigger a cascade of memories.

My friend and colleague Upulie was passionately tweeting about New Guinea’s birds of paradise from the recent David Attenborough public lecture in Melbourne.

Immediately I was transported back to being 10 years old, ensconced in the Willard Price tale Cannibal Adventure.  Without revisiting the text, I can still bring to mind a rough version of the paragraphs describing how Papuan people smeared gum-like sap over the branches of a tree to trap birds of paradise. The book was one in a series about teen zoologists Hal and Roger Hunt, traversing the world to collect live specimens for their father’s nature reserve. I’ve read them all, and so has my brother Simon – for me, the books represent a strong point in common from our childhood. I can still feel the buzz of adrenaline I got reading about escapes from mako sharks, giant clams and the inevitable bad guys who cropped up here and there.

Since then, another science and twitter buddy Vanessa has informed me that the estate of Willard Price has commissioned more books in the series, this time about the adventures of Hal and Roger’s children. In the modern iteration, nature conservation and species protection are at the forefront. Ignoring these for the meantime, I have ordered the first 3 books in the original series under the pretence of buying for my children. But I’m going to re-read them first.


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