Close encounter with a kiwi a memory to treasure
A memory to treasureMATT RILKOFF
It was on a Sunday night while driving home from dinner at her mum's place that Uruti's Aithnia Batchelor made friends with a kiwi.
"We saw this brown shape in the middle of the road. Bruce, my husband, said that it was nice dark possum, but blow me days, then we saw a beak and this head. We said: ‘That's a kiwi' and stopped the car," Ms Batchelor said.
The couple were just a few minutes from their back country home on the Moki Rd and though her husband had seen a swag of kiwi in his time, the 9pm encounter was Ms Batchelor's first.
"I was close enough I could have picked it up, but I didn't want to scare it. It didn't seem to care that I was there.
"I followed it up the road. It was flicking up leaves, then it got something. I don't know what it was but it went "nyum nyum" and carried on," she said.
The kiwi paid no attention to her for the 10 minutes it walked up and down the road looking for food.
With a recent flu bout leaving her with a husky voice, the highly regarded artist was reluctant to try to communicate with the bird lest she scare it, but once or twice did offer a "kiwi-kiwi".
"When I said that it turned its head and looked up at me," she said.
What makes the experience so special was that most people will never a see a kiwi in the wild, Ms Batchelor said, and of those that do the encounter is often brief rather than 10 minutes long.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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