Meeting Gertie the Lace Monitor Goanna
This is the story of how Brontee Bee meets Gertie the Lace Monitor Goanna, on his first adventure ever.
Brontee Bee’s first day as a scout
The hum from the heat was extremely loud, people don’t realise when you’re in the bush sounds are the only company you have, when you’re on your first scouting trip it is all about what you hear and smell.
In the distant I hear water but there ares no rivers that I’ve been told about. My senses tell me that close by any water will be flowers that are able to blossom and produce nectar, so I go that way. It’s hot, and a chance to have some liquid to cool down would be excellent. With waves of heat all around me it is really over the top hot, the bush insects are noisy in the heat, a long drawn out sound of humming.
In the hive we’d have workers fanning their wings to keep those of us normally attending the queen cool. These workers are our air conditioners. I had been asked to take Carol’s place today as she is very ill. So here I am, instinct guiding me further and further in my search for flowers full of our most valuable food source, nectar.
Great, up ahead I see that the water is strangely in two levels, quite high up, then dropping down some. What is that large thing laying near the edge of the second level of water?
I get a little closer and then I see a long tongue from this creature, touching around in the air, it is trying to get a pinpoint of where I am?
Suddenly, the creature bellows, “who goes there at my waterhole?” “I’m Gertie the Lace Monitor, keeper of the pond.”
I get a little closer, but up higher than her tongue, and say, “it’s Brontee Bee, and tell her why I’ve come.”
“Oh!” she says, “that’s alright then, you won’t be eating my ants, snails and rats, and with you being so small you won’t drink all my water, so I can share!” “Do you need a drink?”
“Yes please, but it’s awfully deep, I might drown”
Gertie extended her long tail and made a tail-bridge going down into the water. Brontee landed and slowly and cautiously walked down Gertie’s tail. She took a good long drink then walked slowly back up again, feeling much cooler.
“Thank you, thank you Gertie, you are a true friend. When I’m around again may I visit you?”
“Sure Brontee, I will leave my water area only when it floods, so I’ll be here, and we can talk some more. Everyone around here are too scared to talk to me, I get so lonely!”
“I would consider it an honour Gertie, see you soon.” Brontee flew a few more minutes and spotted a field of yellow dandelions.
Brontee took her directions for where she was by looking at the sun and flew as fast as she could back to the hive to do her waggle dance.
Photo credit Jeremy Swales