At the city Zoo I went purposively to a Plexiglas window booth, and peered into its stripe of shadow: ‘Where might I find the platypus?’
I knew Fleay’s ‘We breed the platypus!’ and, increasingly, air travel brings on my bio-philia.
‘If I wanted to see one, I would have to leave town,’ the greeter said through the voice-loop, dreamily, ‘Take a day… hire a car, drive… and I’d be lucky to find one playing in a creek at the sanctuary.’
‘It was an unsuccessful animal,’ she added, quite friendly in the Aussie manner, ‘they just didn’t take to the Zoo and kept dying.’
First published in The Times Literary Supplement