Met Kyra… yes, I did meet her on a rather sunny day in Sydney. She was sunning herself and making sure that the sun did not give her any of the blemishes and spots that it was famed for giving. ‘After all,’ she mused, ‘my beauty is why I get so many fans coming to me.’
‘Hey, Kyra!’ someone suddenly shouted, waving a camera at her.
‘Oh! Don’t be so bothersome,’ Kyra quailed in a clucky voice that was so characteristic of her, and then looked the other way. She was actually quite a snooty one for Pelicans. Not all Australian Pelicans are that snooty, but ever since she was given a personal tip by the famous Lady Gaga (well, that was how the crowd shuffling by her side was addressing her, you see), she turned into a rather big show-off.
‘Well, Peleconus conspicillatus’, Gaga had crooned softly into her left ear, ‘you are a real beauty. More beautiful than any other Australian Pelican I have ever come across. And you really must never lose your beauty.’
She had just cocked her head to one side, fluffed her wings and did a special jig for her… she always liked it when people whispered sweet things in her ear. It made the other males in her enclosure so very jealous of her. ‘And now I have this Gaga swooning over me,’ she thought, but stopped her thoughts to listen again because this lovely human was again saying something to her.
‘I’ll call you Kyra,’ Gaga said, ‘the girl who was never affected by the harsh rays of the sun.’
‘Kyra!’ repeated the Pelican… and she does it still when you point your camera at her and tell her softly that you were there to click her picture or shoot her video to show to the world! Yes, Kyra loved the world to know how well she was treating her skin even though she was out in the open and was forever watching the sun play with the Tasmanian waves! She never really had to go to the beach as she had her own private one here in Taronga itself… and she had so many males ogling at her all through the day.
And since that fateful day, this Australian pelican prided on being called ‘Kyra, The sunshine girl!’ Well, this is what she told me in her own inimical cackle and I nodded in agreement.
‘You know that I know all about sun screens and sun protection factors,’ Kyra said to me, and then continued, ‘this secret tip was all mine when Lady Gaga whispered it to me. She also told me that this was the secret that I must share with everyone as beauty multiplies when shared.’
‘There now, I again agree with you here, Kyra,’ I said, ‘and even Audrey Hepburn has remarked that the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.’
‘Yes,’ said Kyra excitedly, ‘Beauty is in knowing how to care for your skin and…’ she thought for a while and continued, ‘…and, well, care for others by letting them in to all secrets of care!’
‘That’s quite well put.’
Kyra did an elaborate jig, fluffed her wings, danced and pranced and then whispered to me, ‘Let me tell you what Gaga had once told me.’ And she then went on to tell me all about her beauty secrets and the talk weaved in and out of sun rays, UV rays, SPF, and all that Lakmè has been doing for the skin.
‘You know that I once believed that beauty was a tyranny and that it must be snatched and used as a bait,’ Kyra went on, ‘but now I know that real beauty is in sharing your knowledge with others.’
‘Hmmm, that’s lovely,’ I said and added, ‘I must be moving ahead now, Kyra. I need to talk to the Kangaroos and the Koalas who are waiting for me.’
‘Yes, sure. And you’ll share with them my beauty secrets, won’t you?’
Before I turned back to walk to the other animals there in the Taronga Zoo of Sydney, I happened to read more about the Australian Pelicans. I then knew that Kyra was displaying all the signs of a pelican that’s right in the middle of the breeding season. She had her bill with a changed colour, the front half of the pouch had become salmon pink, her throat had turned yellow, a black diagonal strip had appeared along the bill, and the top and base had changed to cobalt blue… yes, the breeding season was surely ON.
‘Well,’ I mused, ‘even birds in a zoo seem to be knowing more than what so many of us humans don’t seem to care about.’
‘There I agree with you,’ smiled another tourist who had just happened to hear what I was mumbling about.