Musso the Magnificent Galah

The tale of a Galah in Western Queensland

by Outback Jack

Here we go again folks. Now this isn’t a story about man’s best friend or woman’s best friend either for that matter. This is a true story about a bird, one of this country’s more abundant parrots, a pink and grey Galah. Now this fellow was commonly known around "Clonagh" cattle station, where he spent most of his life as, "Musso".

Now Musso was no ordinary galah, for he had a club foot, which meant all of his landing and grasping was done with one foot. That made for some horrific landings. Nine times out of ten he would come into land on the ground and end up on his back with his feet in the air. The lady who told me about this was on the station at the time and she would hear the thud and the screech and go out and put Musso the right way up.

Musso, (I did say he was no ordinary bird), worked out that if he could hang onto something when he landed, it was a lot easier on the body. He started the habit of landing on the station house fly screened windows and doors, hanging by one foot until rescued, or he would land on peoples heads, grabbing hold of their hair with his one good foot and flopping down over their faces.

The station people would see Musso the bird coming and would start yelling, "Look out! Look out!" Now it didn’t take this smart bird long before he started issuing these warnings himself. He’d come in to land with this very loud, "Look out, Look Out !"

This frightened the wits out of many a new chum or station visitor, as you can imagine.

One day there were three cattle buyers at the station looking over some cattle. They had seen all they wanted of the cattle and were taking a stroll, presumably discussing prices or some such thing. Now, two of the buyers wore hats, but the third had no hat. It was an understood rule with Musso that he didn’t land on anyone that wore a hat because the hat always fell off and him with it, so he always picked people without head gear. The buyer, who was also as bald as a badger, was in for a hell of a surprise!

These three buyers came back to the homestead, two doubled up with laughter, the other holding a hankie on his dome, complaining about the local wildlife. "Look what a bloody galah did to me" he said, removing the bloodied handkerchief from his head.

"But to the bird’s credit", he went on, " It did try to warn me." "It was yelling ... Look out! Look out! Look out! before it hit me."

No one let on that they knew all about Musso, but all had a good belly laugh at the buyer's expense.

"Musso the Magnificent" is included on this site with permission from the Author, Outback Jack.

Outback Jack is the pen name of John Chandler, an old friend of mine from Magnetic Island Days. You can see more of his Aussie yarns here.

Galahs are well known as the pink and grey clowns of the Australian Outback. I found this video of Galahs feeding on YouTube.

Clicking on Galah will take you to Living Family History Site Directory.