Green Tropical Manoeuvres

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This tropical world changes from night to day & we meet the inhabitants.


Chapter One


Night had come to the tropics and with it an awakening of a different kind - she welcomed the moon and waited.


This commando raid was nothing out of the ordinary, in fact in was becoming common place. This elite force of the GTF regiment proudly wore their green berets on every mission. Kitted up with night vision and sophisticated armoury that protected them in stealth mode. 


No words were spoken amongst them, it was imperative that silence became their weapon. Identifying and apprehending hostiles was the key, taking them out swiftly and leaving no trace behind. The specialised climbing gear made it possible for them to overcome vertical obstacles safely, height was not a problem. Sometimes dropping from great distances at short notice was done with impeccable ease. It was all in a night’s mission. 


Dropping into the humid swirling tropical mist through the fern foliage the team were aware of pending danger. The night noises that stimulated their senses tingled their expertise into locating & closing in on their target. Stealthily traversing the terrain pushing through palm trees and tropical undergrowth was challenging. 


All were intimately aware of the areas they needed to access. They had been there before.  A huge expanse of water lay ahead, all in the team needed to be in the water, cross and land on the other side without alerting their target. The creature of the deep water needed to be eluded, losing a life at this stage could be the difference between failure and success of this mission. 


Commander of this mission had seen the consequences of ineptitude, fatal loss of one of the team members meant they could not return the body of their comrade soldier. He waited while all 6 of the team were on the ground, secured the drop zone and ensured that parachutes were stored & hidden. They would leave the chutes & rendezvous with the Escarpment Point before the early dawn. They had to complete the mission before the first rays of sun heralded the dawn. They could not work in the daylight hours, the heat and sun were too intense & visually they would be exposed. 


The GTF team moved into the fresh water expanse to cross. All seemed quiet as they noiselessly slipped into the cool waters. These guys were all excellent swimmers, it was like breathing - it came naturally. Tiny ripples emanated showing the progress of the Team Leader. They became aware of something in the water watching, then a torrid plunging dispelled the team as danger was looming. It was as they feared, the dinosaur from the deep had awakened. The massive flippers that powered this giant from the water cut through and propelled it at a fast speed. But the dinosaur’s body that was shaped like a saucer with a hard shell was no match for the elite GTF regiment. 


The GTF agents swam fiercely ducking and weaving around the danger, using logistical manoeuvres and working towards the middle of the great water expanse. A large pump that worked on solar power through the day lay dormant and this was a reckoning point, check all agents accounted for and the signal to plunge headlong into the swirling depths to the other side of the expanse. Loch Nessie as they had nicknamed the watery dinosaur, was wallowing and had lost some of her speed just shy of the great underwater canyon. She would lose interest somewhat after the initial surge of sensing her waters being compromised. But wary anyway, they had seen many a infiltrator caught and in short moments become her latest victim. 


Team Leader of the Frogman signalled he was off and nimbly torpedoed his way stealthily followed at regularly intervals by the rest of the team. Soon they reached the other side of the water expanse and hauled out of the water. Taking a moment to register all were safely across, they noiselessly slipped into the tropical foliage that enveloped them. 


Defensive hiking to the designated point of last hostile activity was swiftly achieved. It was common ground and at night it was also patrolled by other security forces, one being formidable in air combat. Having unique flying capacity with incredible GPS & sonar signalling, these agents swooped and took out small hostiles and were still a threat to the GTF regiment. Having tried joining forces with them years ago Section 20 had written off having a combined exercise - these guys spoke a different language entirely. They were equiped with the most up to date sonar system technology had ever seen. Known as the MCB they were recognised as high performers in the air but no match for the GTF regiment when it came to water, they were the best. 


Several lurking hostiles were located and the GTF team set about neutralising the infidels. They used holistic weapons as had their ancestors over the generations. It was a tried and tested method that became second nature to all of them. An assortment of source and locational senses provided the regiment with dynamics of the hostile & best entrapment action recommendation. In the dark it hadn’t been too difficult to locate them, and their demise was swift. Hunting down and eliminating dark forces was always a good assignment. It had been a great mission with a good outcome. 


Years of training had achieved recognition into the GTF regiment, it was not for the faint hearted. These active combat soldiers were the elite force that protected the vast tropical patch from hostiles who created pestilence & continued to breed with contempt. 


As the night’s mission concluded, the slowly dawning sky heralded it was time for the GTF regiment to return to Ground Zero Bunker & retire in the safety of the cool. 


One last danger must be overcome before this and that was to elude the Dragon. The Dragon was a formidable presence, sharp eyes and her slow thinking methods often made the chase a bit of a sport for the GTF. Her eyes could pivot at incredible angels sensing even the slightest movement. It was said that her fire breathing mechanism was lethal although none had witnessed this, I mean who would want to? She slumbered through the night hours and it was at sunup that she woke. It was an increasing urgency that the GTF team watched the sky colours changing heralding the dawn and Khaleesi Dragon Queen would awaken. She was fresh from the night’s sleep and looking for food, she ambled from her rock cave and surveyed the tropical horizon. 


The day was dawning humid and hot as she drew in a deep breathe through her nostrils. Sucking in the air around her some of the smaller plants were uprooted in the exhaust and swirled in the vortex of air. Ground Zero Bunker was high up from the jungle but the team had to reach Alpha Point & the escarpment before scaling the rocky ledge to safety. They could alternatively bunker down in the jungle leaves but their safety was not assured. They would be on full alert for 12 hours until the night came, they needed to get to Ground Zero Bunker. They needed a diversion, just to avert the Dragon’s eyes to allow the GTF to reach Alpha Point and mount to safety. The sun hit the massive solar panels mounted over the watery expanse and the pumps were activated, that was it, that was enough to divert the Dragon’s focus. She shifted her gaze to the noise and quickly the regiment passed along the trail and on to Alpha Point. Scaling the rock face very quickly one by one all the team arrived back safely. Not one of these elite agents were even panting with the exertion of the climb, “ Nah Sarg they would say it was like a walk in the park.”


Who are we? We are Green Tree Frogs that live and thrive in the tropical garden of a wonderful human Shelley in Hervey Bay. 


The Dinosaur from the water is none other than the elusive  Kreft Turtle Loch Ness. She is the guardian of the ponds and is not to be meddled with. In the cooler months Loch Ness Turtle is less active and at times brumates or slumbers. She is a gentle dinosaur & really has no interest in the GTF commando team. But she likes stirring and creating a bit of drama. Nessie is a Rescue Turtle who came to live with Shelley 4 years ago. She had a disfigured back flipper & has been rehabilitated to live in her outdoor in-ground ponds. She has an amazing character and it has been interesting to see her evolve and explore her natural instincts. She loves a good shell scratch/rub.


MCB are the Micro-Bats that live in the resident Gum Tree. These amazing little creatures are night dwellers and fly low over the garden catching moths & grubs. Incredibly intelligent these guys have an amazing sonar system.


The other dinosaur that lives in this Utopia is none other than Queen of the Dragons Khaleesi, a Central Beardied Dragon who guards the grounds in the daytime. Hunting and eliminating pestilence, she takes her day job very seriously. At designated vantage points around the perimeter she can be seen scrutinising the horizon & maintaining the security of this enormous garden. Khaleesi is also a rescue girl. She is approximately 12 years old, two years ago she was surrounded to care following a horrific accident that rendered her a paraplegic. She has lost much of the movement in her back legs and tail & has been rehabilitated by Shelley. Shelley caters for her compromised physical abilities and she enjoys life in the protected garden where she is well cared for. 


The hostiles are bugs, grubs, grasshoppers, cockroaches, crickets these are all fair game. They destroy plants and carry bugs, germs, viruses that are not good for the garden. Elimination by natural methods seems reasonable. Encouraging the GTF, turtle & dragon to live their lives as in the wild but in the security of a tropical garden makes perfect sense. No messy/poisonous chemicals that do more damage than good. Plain simple Mother Nature…….and I love it. Everything in harmony.


Who else lives here with Shelley? Millie and Mitch who are Shetland Sheep Dogs. Millie especially has an incredible capacity to respect & understand the animals in the garden. Everybody gets on really well. If the turtle is out exploring is is likely that Millie will be 3 steps behind her. As I look out of my office window I can see Nessie sitting on a rock preening herself and Millie will be quietly sitting there guarding her. If she upends herself accidentally and I see 4 flippers waving around in the air, Millie will put her nose under her shell and right herself. Now how is that for such a beautiful capacity?


Since Khaleesi Dragon has come to live with us she too has bonded with Millie & Mitch. With her physical capacity also being a little unstable, if she falls over on her back, she cannot regain her footing easily. So she has undergone a physical agility course to improve her balance. 


What does this story mean for Shelley?


Life has been challenging for Shelley more so than one should endure. She bears the scars of her life deep within herself. She has retreated from the world that has caused so much pain and grief. It has been through her love of gardening and Mother Nature that she finds her family unit quite a quirky mix & it is full of unconditional love. Sitting in her office looking onto the garden where so much of her inspiration comes from, is by night a cacophony of frog warbles and calls. In the day time the frogs quieten and the hot humid days give rise to the day creatures. Loch Nessie & Khaleesi occupy their spots in the garden depending on the weather and the dogs follow Shelley inside like the Pied Piper. 


4.30 am Mitch puts his little wet nose on mine & that is my alarm system. Walking in the cool of the morning before the sun rises is a simple pleasure. One can enjoy the cool breeze and see the local kangaroos grazing nearby. They are quite use to me now, I dread the land development pushing them further away. The burbs are taking over and with development comes loss of habitats for our native animals.


We are home from our early morning walk and seeing Khaleesi awakening in her indoor night time enclosure - she waits for me eagerly. Dragons have a beautiful way of communicating. They bob their heads and wave. When the Dragon first met the Turtle she did this, I wondered at the immense respect and trust displayed. I mused if only humans could do this? 


Picking up Khaleesi from her indoor enclosure - she settles herself on my arm, splinting her broken body. She is restless with anticipation. Millie & Mitch both nuzzle their noses on her head gently and she closes her eyes with pleasure.  Settling Khaleesi in her morning outdoor spot where she will catch the sun rays and meditate as I call it. She has shade she can move to, should she get hot. 


Glancing over at the big pond, the speedway pond as I call it, Nessie is still slumbering under her Lilly. This pond often has the appearance of a tidal wave when she is hunting some unfortunate fish. This pond is cool in the summer being shielded by palms from the sun. Nessie has a habit of sitting at the side of the pond in the sun and she preens herself with her flippers. Her shell is incredibly healthy now, it is dark and her annual shed of scutes has happened early in summer. Later in the day she will present herself at the pond edge and wait for turtle tucker. Her submarine scope head looking in the direction of the back door. She has been known to be really impatient - get out of the pond, waddle her way through the grass, climb onto the patio clang bang on the back door trying to come inside through the dog door. 


Life is wonderful for the most part. Finding the positivity in the day amid the challenges is important. I have found that I have become very philosophical while ageing gracefully. I have also learnt the important lesson of discarding toxic people, the negativity is a constant drag. Embracing the here and the now, be humble, grateful and compassionate with honour and integrity.





Submitted: February 20, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Shelley 008. All rights reserved.

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