Adventures of the Southern Warbler

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Australia birds ecology

Submitted: May 09, 2018

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Submitted: May 09, 2018

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The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

. ..

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

END

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

. ..

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

END

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

 

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

 

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

 

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

 

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

 

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

 

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

 

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

 

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

 

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

 

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

 

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

 

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

 

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

 

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

 

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

 

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

 

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

 

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

 

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

 

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

 

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

 

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

 

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

 

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

 

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

 

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

 

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

 

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

 

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

 

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

 

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

 

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

 

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

 

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

 

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

 

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

 

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

 

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

 

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

 

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

 

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

 

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

 

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

 

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

 

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

 

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

 

 

 

. ..

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

 

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

 

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

 

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

 

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of the Southern Warbler and Big Daddy

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

It wasn’t long before the dawn arrived. Rubin Stone sat in his big armchair, unhurriedly.  There was no cause for concern, no over-riding drive to his early waking. He just found it natural to greet the sun and indeed the birds, that were the first to welcome him, as he slowly gathered his consciousness into an awareness of the responsibilities of that day.

 

It was year 2018 and all seemed to be going along well. Rubin hopped into his Audi street car, and drove out of his Beaumont driveway and then headed off to his place of occupation, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. He had been employed there for eighteen years and found it to be not demanding usually, but at other times challenging. He was an Ecologist, and specialized in all types of animals, in particular, the wild birds of Australia, which he loved with an exceptional passion.

 

He was rarely pressed to do more than a few hours work for the Institute, this was mainly doing research in their Library or on the Internet, for the many and various Government departments, Organizations and Local Councils. After completing this breezy investigation, he wrote reports and answered queries, and forwarded them usually via the Internet. The Management accepted that he could do about four hours work in the afternoons for Public Organizations, such as the Ornithological Societies of each State, which were located in the Capital Cities, and also the various Bird watching clubs in the rural areas. Although he was not authorized to do so, Rubin occasionally provided information for private individuals who paid him in most instances with a commission or favor for his advices.

 

Rubin was one of the most respected experts on Australian birds in the State of South Australia the others being senior members of the Ornithological Society. He did not deal with commercial interests such as bird sellers or even farmers. He did not go out on Institute sponsored field trips although he liked to go on caravan trips all over the State once a year to observe at first hand those specimens pictured in the glossy photos of the collection of the Institute’s Library.

 

In all respects Rubin was a contented man, he had his wife, Aurora, to come home to at night, and she was the source of much highly spirited conversation, as well as being so well suited to him that he felt a profound satisfaction with his every thought of her. Besides this, there were two children, James and Lilly, although they were young adults now, and lived away from the family home.

 

Besides these pleasurable attachments Rubin had many good friends who were mainly Ornithologists like himself or some, Academics who specialized in the field of Ecology. Other than this there was his old time friend, Rymal Nowitzki, whom Rubin cultivated with extra care for Rymal had become a committed Christian and the Minister of an Evangelistic New Wave Congregation that Rubin found amusing to the point of sometimes causing distraction. Other than this concern of Rymal’s, Rubin found him to be the old long time sharer in life’s little twists and turns that provided just that necessary point of view to contrast well with his own rather materialistic concerns.

 

Rubin settled in that evening to observe the news broadcast as he had the habit several evenings of observance of each tranquilly flowing week, he wanted to be informed of current events. He was surprised to view the American President, Jacob Nowitzki, no relation to Rymal, Rubin believed, thou Rymal had always claimed some relation with that Russian American Jew. The President announced that the troops of American soldiers would be forthwith withdrawn from Syria, he claimed that he had personal and humanitarian obligations to the people of Syria that demanded that he abandon the war with that country and attempt the better course of negotiation.

 

Next was the appearance of the Australian Prime Minister who said that he supported the American President and would therefore likewise withdraw all Australian troops and personnel from Syria. Then he apologized, actually apologizing for any past civilian slayings in that particular theatre of world wars. He said that people should recognize that he was not, and his party, were not to blame for any indiscretions that occurred in the course of that war, it was fair according to current conventions, and all Australians could now look forward to a better, brighter future, although we had to be on guard against the odd Islamic terrorist.

 

Rubin, though surprised with this arbitrary change of policy took it non-chalantly, as though this thing was too removed from his everyday life to have significant relevance, though all things matter, one can not be too concerned with the goings on of all things, this was his decided view.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

As Rubin Stone sat at his desk in his ergonomic, official seat at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute he had a spare hour to contemplate the meaning of it all. Was it life itself that mattered or the simple living of it from day to day.  He recalled his reckless, youthful years, the way he had secreted himself out in a clandestine manner from the grounds of Saint Peter’s boarding college for boys in the dead of night, and departed to that notorious part of the City, to Hindley Street. He had spent drunken nights there, in the Havana Club and at Lulu’s, being entertained by hostesses that taught him how to dance the Salsa and many another a staggered step, which he now recalled with a sense of having truly lived a life. Then, tho yet in those tender years, he had been inducted into the sacred grounds of the University of Adelaide, and commenced his career with the serious study of Geography, and then Ecology, and finally specializing in the free spirited study of Birds, he had no regrets, he had lived a life, much in emulation of teenage heroes.

 

He fondly remembered one such hero, a free spirited being who had reached the pinnacle of her dedication as a painter and potter in the early years of the twentieth century, and so betook herself along with her dedicated teacher to France, and there studied the latest practices and methods in her field, so as to receive the very best of an education that was available to a young lady of the upper class, at that time. After a ‘gay’, though not lesbian experience she returned and successfully re-established herself in South Australia, and later settled in Victoria. All this, Rubin recalled as if it was his own life, for he had in his young years surely lived along with her and had dreamed her dreams, however fanciful they may have been.

 

In his cellar, for his house was in the older style, still having a below ground storage space and pantry, Rubin had had installed at much expense, for the large vat could not be brought down the steps in one piece, his pride of spirit, a huge boiler for the brewing of his most famous beers. At least every three month Rubin would brew up a batch of hops and barley and fill bottles, and even kegs of this most famous brew of beer. It was the delight of all his friends and acquaintances, and from time to time he would be asked by a good friend to provide a keg of his most famous beer for a party, a birthday, or a welcome home for someone they both were acquainted with who had been overseas for some time. It was just some small pleasure that Rubin allowed himself, and his friends much appreciated the fact and the effort.

 

Rymal Nowitski was a bazaar old toddler in his own benevolent way, not to say that he was really ‘old’ but merely Rubin’s oldest and most respected friend. They used on many an occasion to partake in a few glasses of Rubin’s special brew, for although Rymal was a Minister of Religion he still found solace and the answer for companionship in Rubin’s company, especially on a cold, rainy winter’s night. Rubin would put on some special internet station that broadcast out of San Francisco, named, Soma FM, and they then could groove into the night with deep and even funny converse and recollection. Actually Rymal had been reported as being in attendance in many a distant country Pub, from Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek to Streaky Bay and Ceduna. He had tried to cajole the patrons into joining his congregation and to all accounts he had been remarkably successful.

 

Actually Rymal was a bit obsessed with his own concern, which he considered as being a service to the members of his congregation and also a point of attraction in the soliciting of new members. He was overly concerned, in his researching of the family trees of his followers, Rubin felt, with aspects of Heraldry, wether or not someone was related in the remote past with a Duke from Hungary or Bulgaria or an Earl from Britain, or even just a Squire from any part of Europe, it was neither here nor there for Rubin. Rymal was especially gratified to find that amongst his congregation was a fifth cousin, second removed, from five generations ago to an actual Prince or Princess, possibly illegitimate or in some way vaguely related. Rubin found such researches, and Rymal employed two full time, ‘experts’, went overboard in their establishment of some connection with the French Royalty, for example, although such had almost all been annihilated by giotine, and there remained only connections or non-confirmed connections to the later French bourseoisie, that Rubin regarded as, that invisible band of musketeers who cared only though, ‘all for one and one for all’, for their own concerns. It all seemed rather farcical to Rubin, who defined himself, sitting back in his leather armchair, as remaining apart from his friend’s obsession.

 

Rymal was also a little strange for the way he supported himself. Actually he was a professional punter who bet every week on the horse races, also he down-laid huge sums of dollars each year on the Melbourne Cup. He really was amazing because he invariably won. It was inexplicable.

 

It was Rubin and Rubin alone who knew the truth of his own chosen existence. For he had chosen at the age of twenty-five to intervene his studies and conduct a total review of, his purpose in his life, by receivership of a grant of ten thousand dollars from his parents inheritance that enabled him to travel for four years throughout Asia, India, the Middle East and most of Southern Europe. At times he gained work as a kitchen hand, and his fellow workers welcomed the chance of learning a little of the English Language. In the meantime he assessed and observed just what was important in his travels, viewed in the light, or darkness of his life, until that time; that, depended on his perspective at any particular point in time. After due consideration he decided that it was the ubiquitous birdlife that had impressed him the most, their spontaneous exuberance and sheer joyousness, that he could not ignore. And so it was that he had dedicated his very existence, day after day, from that time, to their care and preservation, humanity be damned.

 

The solitary chirp from within itself, of just one single native bird was worth more to him than all the world’s pretention and apparent supposition.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

 

‘And what care I for the ways of the world, so concerned with their own powers, for I have only the Birds to care for, and the world be damned.’ Such were the thoughts of Rubin Stone as he spied in his garden, which included a large courtyard, fairly as large as the width of the size of his house, and included a birdbath and bird-feeding station, a very special sight.

 

And there he spied a most rare bird, a - ‘Southern Warbler’, misnamed because it only occupied a region extending from the north to the, Mid-North of this State of South Australia, and only exceptionally migrated Southerly into the metropolitan area of Adelaide. He was a rare, hidden spy, for he reared back at the sight of it, and hid himself behind the overgrown lavender bush, ‘So glad I hadn’t trimmed it,’ thought Rubin, for so rare a sight would be worth any measure of sacrifice, in Rubin’s eye. He observed the bird and recalled the photos in the Institute’s Library, the vibrant glowing photos, but nothing could be compared to this, a lifetime’s fulfilment in each second, the small orange bird, yellow crested, and with that distinctive black beak. It could only be the famed, ‘Southern Warbler.’ Without a camera he felt somewhat disadvantaged. Though, he thought, his eyes would suffice. He observed, almost secretly, as though some representative of the Ornithological Society could look over his shoulder at this most private occurrence, exceptional though it was he still observed, moment by moment, as that Bird, the Southern Warbler, went from the feeding station to the water provision. It was all too much for Rubin; it was as though all his questions had been answered by seemingly divine intervention.

 

And then the bird chose to sing, and sing and chirp and warble, and Rubin swooned at the sheer exuberance and the essential beauty of it’s innate nature, a great lesson for any human singer in any language. This small bird encapsulated the very essence of life as no other creature could, not only in the forms of mere sound but the very expression of the joy that this bird knew from second to second, while the rest of us thought about ‘world wars’ and such elitist preoccupations. Such were the thoughts of Rubin and he truly regretted this distraction, for a person only has one life and, ‘who!’ are the powers that take away his sharement of the joys of merely living a life?

 

Rubin had another favourite breed of bird, the Golden Cockatoo. It was a large bird,  pure gold in colour though it possessed a yellow chest and was gilded green on the tips of its feathers, as well as on the tip of its tail. It was special of all Australian birds because there were so few of them. They mainly habituated the region of Kakadu, which is a famous nature reserve of the Northern Territory of Australia, and occupies a somewhat sacred position in Australian’s listings of favoured iconic sites, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. If the Japanese ever attacked Kakadu, Heaven help only us and not them.

 

Though all the world is unconcerned with the environment, at every quarter, sheerly unaware of the beauty that surrounds it and in all directions supports its ignorant ways, still the clouds provide, year upon year, the flow of mighty rivers, the filling of all humanity’s reservoirs, the lush glow of our territories, and yet we don’t see. This is what sustains us, and this is what the birds, lesser creatures, know by heart, for they possess a truer faith. They possess a faith in the airs, the waters and for their very travels, they possess a love for the winds. There is no greater love than this, though we presume to know more. Is there really more that is worth knowing?

 

Rubin knew something. He took pleasure at least one afternoon of each fortnight to take paid leave from his workplace. He was explained in this act by the assumption that he was doing research in other libraries or otherwise entertaining visiting specialists in his field of ecology. Usually he did that with interstate, and sometimes foreign visitors but this was rare. He took the time to go to the Botanical Gardens where he would sit on a bench for several hours and re-read his favourite novel, an environmental work named, The Log from the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck. He had lost count how many times he had had the pleasure of perusing through its ragged pages.

 

After this indulgence he would invariably take himself to the main shopping area of Adelaide called Rundle Mall. There he would sit on a bench in the shade of one of the glowering native trees and he would play a game. He would try to guess the nationality of the passing people. He could identify persons from most countries especially Asian countries but he had a knowledge gap when it came to South Americans or Arabic people. He was fascinated not only with their sense of fashion which varied extremely but also by their faces which were a constant source of fascination. In all this he took pleasure and communed in a silent way with this break from his usual occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

It occurred to the mind of Rubin, who was rather a special breed of human by choice, rather than inheritance or even genetics, that birds, the birds that he was concerned with every day were not aware of plants as being weeds or otherwise. It was only us humans who conceived that certain plants were not to grow where we didn’t want them, not birds. It was more pertinent environmental stenches that perturbed birds, such as the burning of rubber or oil, or in fact the absolutely repulsive breathing in of carbon fuel exhaust systems, such as cars, Therefore no bird such as the ‘Southern Warbler’ would willingly venture into the ‘wild’ of an urban environment, this was an affront to Rubin, this separation from the world of ‘birds’. It was as though humanity in its self concern had cut itself off from the very vital factor that sustained it, completely cut off. Rubin considered that perhaps it would be better for him to sell his Audi vehicle and travel by bus or train, in emergencies he could possibly transport himself by taxi. Surely such a provision on his part would add just a little to the acceptance of such birds as the, ‘Southern Warbler’ and one day, if he were so lucky he might see an actual, ‘Golden Cockatoo’ in these skies.

 

It was as these very thoughts were exploding in Rubin’s mind that it concurred that he was soon after watching, once again, the evening news. There was reported an unprecedented response to a Wikipedia leaked article, it had concerned the proposed usage of biological weapons in Syria. It was totally absurd to Rubin that such a thing could even be considered by an Australian Government, but after all it was the conservative party in power, so what would one expect. His wife, Aurora, was totally amazed that a party she had voted for would propose such a disaster. If Islamists were reacting there were peaceful means of responding, we only had to speak to them in the right tone of voice, this she felt, would be an adequate form of response. Rubin felt that it may mean a more fundamental change in the values of Western cultures, maybe some trained communicators to go into the war zone and conduct an exchange of values, as if to say, from their point of view some traditional beliefs and practices aren’t actually in accord with their Koran, so what do they say? Something like that form of dialogue needs to happen, but not this.

 

It was all so, so absurd. Rubin just wanted to put it all out of his mind, just to maintain a sense of peace within himself and even not to talk about it with Aurora. It crept into his mind during the following days, until the night, three days later. All of the opposition Parties’ followers as well as humanitarian organizations and the general populous were virtually rioting in the streets, it was all there on the TV news. Rubin turned the TV off. He hated these violent confrontations more than watching a bad video. But what could the ordinary man or woman do to oppose an elected Party in Government, Rubin felt powerless.

 

Rubin returned to work in a desultory way, he was feeling inadequate. If the Government of Australia wanted to bombard the civilians of Syria, what could he do? It was a mockery of all that the Western countries stood for, would we, the people have to wait for another election to see some justice. Or would the present regime pour down its answer to the few extremist terrorists that suffered under misguided advisers. It was all about the use of biological weapons, the opposition said, and they opposed that. But it was more than simply that, thought Rubin. It was the whole conception of warfare, as a means to achieve ends concept, that Rubin found so absurd, couldn’t there be talk and even discussion, couldn’t we all at least be in a negotiating mood, if not agreeing on a common frame of mind.

 

The more that Rubin thought about it the more absurd it seemed. How could even an assumed supremacy of mere rationality, let alone some concocted ideology, justify the mass killing of civilian populations of perhaps millions of people. He tried to put it out of his mind and yet there it was on the TV news every night, in every Capital City, in Canberra, the masses rioting. And he, here in his comfortable home merely being a witness to this disturbance that was sweeping the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

The Canberra Academic that had originally leaked the story on Wikipedia now called the chemical weapon, - Z23, for he claimed that if this greatest weapon of mass annihilation were released in the skies above Syria that Summer of 2018 it would take five years to have its complete effect, the mass slaughter of every man, woman and child in the general region and territory of Syria. By 2023, it could all be over for hundreds of millions of relatively innocent fellow humans.

 

The protests continued and each night notable public speakers of all kinds registered their opposition to this inhuman plan to put an end to Syrian threats to other countries in that area. But it was all to no avail, and within a few days there was a catastrophe reported on TV and on the front pages of every newspaper.

 

‘Military airplane crashes in Queensland monsoon storm – Z23 escapes into environment.’

 

Rubin read further, in a State of horror. The Air force fighter, bomber had been transporting the chemical weapon, Z23 to Syria when it had encountered the monsoon storm and plummeted, out of control into the flooded biome of Northern Queensland. Rubin gasped. The effect of this was not known however one Government Official, an expert on the Environment said that this was a disaster for the entire ecosystem of Australia that would leave long term damage to our quality of life, especially the Nation’s Agriculture.

 

This was the most unthinkable scenario that Rubin could imagine in his wildest dreams, it was in fact unimaginable, inconceivable.

 

‘The entire biome is as one interlinked multi-faceted ecosystem,’ Rubin was saying to Rymal who had visited his Beaumont home to consult especially on this disaster, this threat to the Nation. ‘If something of this proportion happens in one part of the Ecosystem it will flow on to every part. Once the monsoonal flood plains of Northern Queensland get this, ‘Z23’ into them then those hugely flowing rivers, such as the Diamantina, will carry it down even to Central Australia and beyond. The artesian basin which underlies the whole water supply of Central Australia will be inundated and saturated with this chemical, and if it is as toxic as they say then every plant and animal, all cattle and sheep, even camels and of course birdlife, will be poisoned. It is a major World disaster, there could be nothing worse except perhaps, if that chemical had actually been released in the atmosphere over Syria, then more people would have been directly affected.’

 

‘I have been saying in my sermons for years as is predicted in the Scriptures that if people continued to be greedy and selfish then there would be a punishment, a final war, Armageddon. So is this it? Is this Armageddon backfiring on us? Is this the end of the known world?

 

‘I suppose you could see it that way, it’s definitely the worst disaster since the ‘black plague’ and as you may know absolutely millions of people died at that time. But don’t despair for just as humanity recovered from the ‘black plague’ so to will humanity recover from this. It may take generations and much suffering and hardship in the loss of all forms of life but we will endure this catastrophe, You can tell your ‘flock’ that if they from now on abide by the Scriptures as you interpret them, then Humanity in an improved, stronger version will not only survive but prevail on this planet, that’s what I advise you to tell your congregation.’ Rubin wanted to help his friend in every way that he could and though at times it seemed that he spoke a different language it was their friendship that kept them in close harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

Aurora was not simply just a housewife. She was, as befitted a woman of her status and intelligence, in fact employed by Scotch College, one of the most prestigious institutions of primary and higher education in the whole State of South Australia, since they had become co-ed. She did not however have to attend that College, as she only had to meet with the Principal and some senior teachers and other Advisers once a month, she otherwise answered queries from home by Internet, so it was a relaxed situation for her, that gave her much satisfaction.

 

It was however a disturbing occurrence, this matter, of Z23, shall we call it. This caused Rubin not to be able to sleep for more than four hours and this had the affect of upsetting the normal relation between Rubin and Aurora because when he was sleeping she was awake, and when she slept he was awake, their dormitory cycles got out of sync. And so they just stumbled through the days in a haphazard way. Rubin felt that he now lived in an unreal world where the worst was yet to come, only his colleagues at the Institute served to provide support although there were as yet no reports of effects from, - Z23.

 

The Nation waited with baited breath, there seemed that there was nothing that could be done. The monsoonal rains continued all summer, it was an exceptionally wet season. Right across the North of Australia the plains flooded and mighty rivers formed as they did every year, only that year was unprecedented in the sheer volume of water that flowed in a huge serge south, to the centre, to the very heart of this massive Continent. The waters everyone assumed would not be healing, nourishing waters to revive the dry, parched land that beat with the pulse of life as it received this seasonal flow.

 

This was the State of the Nation for many months and no one criticized the Government or saw it as having been neglectful and wanting in foresight. People tried to go about doing their regular business, all the things that they usually took pleasure in. But there was not pleasure, all smiles were gone from people’s faces, and laughter became unheard of.

 

After three months of tension and preoccupation little change had been reported. Cattle that drank of the waters from the engorged rivers did not die and all other animals, including Camels and all wild creatures appeared to be thriving. There was only one reported change, a native plant known as Old Man Salt Bush was proliferating abnormally. All over the North and in the Centre this particular plant was sprouting up everywhere in thick copses, crowding out other plant communities and providing a grey-green hue to the wide open plains where the mightiest rivers in history ploughed the earth and sent their waters down into the aquifers to replenish the Artesian Basin. Everywhere the rising underground water table was allowing all vegetation to receive the strength to revivify, but the vegetation did not flourish, instead it died. The only plant specie to respond, and respond exceptionally was the

Old Man Salt Bush, which continued to virtually take over every available piece of land and a great mystery settled on the land.

 

Throughout the elite community of Ecologists of Australia debate raged and a thousand theories were floated in Internet communications between Government Departments, Educational Institutes and Research Centres. Rubin, being an expert Ornithologist had a special view to add to the National debate. He knew where others wouldn’t, that there was one bird specie that lived almost solely on the little red berries of the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was the famed, Southern Warbler. Other birds and animals would have nothing to do with the Old Man Salt Bush because of its discouraging spiny thorns. The out come of this fact was not at first noted, but within the five month reports started to be made from the west coast to the east, from the most northerly regions through to the Centre and spreading South as far as the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The Southern Warbler was proliferating exceptionally, having an abundance of its favourite food source.

 

Rubin was rather pleased with this unexpected effect of the chemical, Z23, and because he had predicted it his name began to be mentioned in circles other than those of Government experts and Academics. In the Federal Parliament various politicians started saying that Rubin should be granted finance and more scope that may enable further predictions.

 

At the Waite Agricultural Institute he began receiving samples of water from a thousand rivers and of underground water. He had it tested and found an extreme content of salinity, but it was not normal salinity, it was some hybrid form that chemically was previously unknown. Rubin dispatched many samples of these waters to the British Weapons Research Centre, situated near Adelaide. Within two weeks he had in his hands or at least on his computer a most surprising report. Apparently the chemical, Z23, when it combined with the highest levels of salt content in history, was transformed into a totally knew substance. It was a substance that could not be absorbed by the usual osmotic processes of a plant’s root absorption of water and nutrients. The only plant that could absorb such a high salt content and in the form of the new chemical compound was, the Old Man Salt Bush, and this was why it had flourished.

 

The Scientists at the Weapons Research Centre called this new chemical compound, Z-00, and its discovery became attached to the name – Rubin Stone. In the national press and on television he was credited with its discovery, although he felt he could do without the attention.

 

Federal Government officials were alarmed by reports that thousands of animals, especially cattle, had died because they would not eat the Old Man Salt Bush as that was now all that was available to them. The Department of Agriculture asked Rubin to come up with a solution to this problem so he had some tests done at the Port Augusta research centre of the Waite Agricultural Institute. He found that cattle would eat the Salt Bush if it was mulched and therefore he recommended that the manufacture of a cheap but efficient mulching machine be invested in and its production in large quantities be promoted. Rubin had let it slip to Rymal that he had made this recommendation so without Rubin’s knowledge Rymal had invested over ten thousand dollars in the largest manufacturer of mulching machines.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

As the months passed and the season changed to spring, Rubin was getting daily reports that the Southern Warbler was breeding phenomenally and the skies of all of the North and Central parts of Australia were a dark cloud of them. Rubin informed the Federal authorities that the chemical, Z-00 that was in the berries of the Old Man Salt Bush was having an aphrodisiacal effect on the Southern Warbler. Even on the Adelaide Plain there could be seen huge flocks of them and Federal and State Governments were asking for quick results in solving this problem. Agricultural Research Centres and Universities were given grants and instructed to concentrate all their efforts to finding an answer. As yet there were no reports of humans being affected by the, Z-00 in the water supply.

 

A Canberra scientist who had been doing concentrated research in the field of genetic engineering proposed that he could guarantee that if a certain chemical was released into the rivers of the North, that Summer, then the Southern Warbler would be effectively, ‘knocked on the head.’ He had devised a chemical that could be absorbed by the Old Man Salt Bush and its berries and have the affect of not only neutralising Z-00 but actually reversing its aphrodisiac affect on the Southern Warbler. It would effectively sterilise genetically the entire population of Southern Warblers. This scheme was debated in the parliament in Canberra, the problem being of such importance.

 

There amounted a huge response to this proposal, Church leaders from several of the largest denominational groups spoke up immediately against this human intervention in the perfect world that God had created and God alone could change. They also said that this act would amount to mass extermination, and the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ They had said nothing about the Australian Government’s intention to exterminate perhaps millions of civilians in Syria but now they felt the call to protest the annihilisation of a native bird specie.

 

Children loved the Southern Warbler, they loved the look of it, its bright colours, its singing, its impassioned chirping now even stronger with the effect of, Z-00 upon its essential nature, as it crowded the skies of Adelaide and perched upon every available space on the electricity cables above the streets. Rubin was entranced by the presence of alternating hundreds of these beautiful birds in his own garden every evening.

 

Rymal was caught up in the national concern and he called in to the Beaumont residence of Rubin to beg him to intervene, and provide an alternative solution to the, ‘knock on the head’ proposal that was being seriously considered. He felt that it was God, and God alone, who could intervene in such a proposed way. When it came to genetic engineering all righteous Christians should stand together, in opposition to any interference in God’s creation, and plan for all life on this planet.

 

He said that, Big Daddy, you know, Him up there in Heaven, would smile on us all, and that all would be well taken care of. He was so certain, that Rubin actually gave his claims some credence, if not of fact but as a motivation. After all, all of knowledge was not known and as far as Rubin was subconsciously aware of, there may just be a, Big Daddy, up there above the skies of Adelaide.

 

Rubin was rather unconcerned about such issues but he did not want to see his favorite bird, the Southern Warbler, annihilated, so he agreed to do his best to provide some alternative solution that did not involve the mass extinction of such a beautiful bird specie.

 

 

. ..

 

 

Jack and Desiree Stuart were on holiday in the Flinders Rangers region of northern South Australia. They were from the northern suburbs of Sydney but travelled for three months of each year the length and breadth of this Continent. They were dining with a barbeque in front of their caravan way out in the bush where only Kangaroos and thousands of Southern Warblers distracted their pleasant evening meal.

 

They were interrupted by the approchement of a young Aboriginal woman with a blanketed bundle in her arms. She said her name was Sheila and that she lived with her husband nearby. She then showed them a most astonishing thing. From her bundle of blankets she exposed the head of a tiny new born baby. This baby was very strange in that, implanted in its forehead was a disc, and within this disc were three eyes, she said it was a three eyed moon. Moreover, she believed this was inherited from her ancestors who according to the ‘stories’ possessed such mooneyes. They were the first white people to see such a thing as the three-eyed moon, unlidded, staring in their pale silver-gold magnificence.

 

Jack and Desiree took photos with their mobile phone and promised to keep in contact with the Aboriginal woman, Sheila. A month later they were informed that this had been the first of many reported mutations in Aboriginal babies and it was known that this was caused by the chemical, Z-00. The chemical however only affected pure blood Aboriginals, it really was a strange occurrence.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

Rubin worked day and night throughout that spring, researching the ecology of the dry outback of Australia. He had believed that he knew it all, but as he searched every reference to the climate, to the soils, and to the flora and fauna of this Continent of Australia he became aware of something that Aboriginal people instinctively knew. Here was a biome, an interlinked series of ecosystems that had existed from, time immemorial. It had been a stable environment for it’s thousands of plant and animal specie for untold millennia, and it would continue to uphold this stable pattern. A new input or foreignally introduced factor such as

Z-00, would not be accepted in any long term way. The seasonal Monsoonal rains would happen again and again, and this chemical, Z-00, would be washed out of this stable system, it would become just one minor element in the vast biome of this planet, it would be dispersed in its mighty oceans, and its long term affect would be negligible.

 

Rubin made his pragmatic but certain application to the Federal Government’s emergency investigations. He recommended that the best strategy was to wait for perhaps three years until that chemical, Z-00, was washed out of the Australian biome, and everything returned to normal. He also recommended that hundreds of thousands of the, Southern Warbler, be caught and sent to countries that would be willing to accept them into the fabric of their environments, to grace their skies with their color and to provide pleasure with their singing, and to entrance the children of the World.

 

END

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Raymond Crane. All rights reserved.

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