Monday, June 3, 2013

Bukit Batok Nature Park and the Lost Dogs

Located only a short bus ride from my home is a wonderful nature park called Bukit Batok. It is quiet and peaceful and full of birds and animals and has beautiful vistas at every turn. It is not very crowded and a great place for people to walk their dogs. (As everyone knows, cats don't get walked.)

When I arrived, I was met by a Colombo Crow named... Colombo. He was an old crow but very fit. He lives in this park and I now know why he is in such good physical shape. The park is not that big but there are a lot of brick walkways that lead you up some pretty steep hills.
Colombo offered to give me a tour of "his" park so I was happy to accept the generous offer. The pathways are very well maintained and meander through some very thick forest. We saw lots of pretty flowers as well as a Many Lined Sun Skink, a Monitor Lizard, and some Long Tailed Macaques (monkeys) who scampered away through the woods as soon as they were spotted.

We also saw some White-Crested Laughing Thrushes pecking at the ground. I could not stand the noise they made! They made a screeching sound followed by a very loud squawk that sounded like crazy people laughing. They were doing their best at ruining a  perfectly tranquil afternoon. Colombo took flight and I ran to get away from them.
We ended up at the top of a hill where there is a small monument dedicated to the Allied and Japanese soldiers that died here in WWII. We slowly sauntered back down the hill and came upon the remains of a rock quarry that is filled up with water, creating a beautiful, serene pond.

As we were resting at the waters edge, a couple of dogs came running up to us. They had harnesses on with leashes dragging behind them.

They appeared very agitated. I told them to calm down and to let us know what their problem was. They introduced themselves as Pepper and Henry from USA and they had escaped from their master. (By the way, did you know dogs have masters but cats have staffs.) They had playfully gotten away while being walked but were now very worried because they were lost.
Colombo told them not to worry. He knew their master was probably still in the park and just as worried as they were. He flew up high to get a better view and spotted a nervous looking lady who was obviously upset. He glided back down and then guided us directly to the lady who was so relieved to be back with her pets. Colombo and I left their reunion and continued on to the park exit.

I had a very fun day but it was time to go back home. I thanked Colombo for being such a great tour guide and for being so resourceful helping out those poor lost little dogs. His kind response was so typical of an old crow. As he flew off he replied, "The pleasure was all mine pretty kitty."

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