Guest writer: Lorraine Zinnack, Kangaroo Island, S.A.
I am sometimes asked why some of our kangaroo pets have such un-Australian names. I tell them it was through people from overseas studying English with me. When a new joey joined the family; the guest was invited to name it. That’s why they have Japanese names like Kaoru or Miharu and a Chinese name like Gaosheng
It reminds me of a story I heard when I was small. Would you like to hear it? You would? Well – here goes!
After God created the earth and everything in it, he invited the first man, Adam, to name the plants and animals. “Can I really choose their names?” Adam asked with surprise. God smiled, “Yes, I’d like you to do that”, and he brought the animals one by one for Adam to name. “I’d like to call this one Dog”, said Adam, “Is that OK?” “It’s your choice” replied God smiling even more broadly at Adam’s enthusiasm. “Right, you’re Dog. And you – you can be elephant, and you – I think tiger sounds a good name for you. Echidna, suits you, little fellow. Kangaroo – yes, I think I’ll call you kangaroo. And so Adam named the animals one by one.
Then it was the turn of the plants. God and Adam strolled through the garden together, delighting in the endless variety of shape and colour, from tiny purple flowers peeping from beneath their leaves, to towering forest giants, twining vines, and brilliantly hued flowers. Sweet fragrances filled the air.
“So, what will you name this one?” enquired God as they stooped to admire a shrub covered with pink multi-petalled flowers.
“Daisy. I think it should be Daisy.” So Daisy it became. Next Rose was named, then Hydrangea, Myosotis and Pelargonium. Trees became Eucalypt and Birch and Pine.
And so the naming continued. Adam was amazed at how many different plants there were, all created by Father God, to supply beauty and food and medicine to the world.
Several days later as he walked through Eden enjoying the beauty of his creation, God asked some of the creatures their names. Lion roared his name, the sound echoing through the garden. From the top of a tree Koala opened one sleepy eye to reply, then promptly fell asleep again. Sparrow alighted on a branch of a tree and chirped his name, while Kookaburra was laughing so heartily he could only stutter his; kook-kook-kook-kookkook ha ha ha ha. Crow cawed out his name in his rough voice and Magpie sweetly carolled hers.
Along the edge of the path the daffodils danced in the breeze eager to announce their name, while violet peeped from beneath her covering of round green leaves and shyly whispered hers.
It was then God noticed a tiny blue flower weeping in a corner, her tears falling to the ground beneath. “What’s wrong, little one?” God gently asked. “This is a place of happiness; why are you crying?”
Myosotis looked up at her creator in distress. “Oh Father God, I can’t remember the name I was given. I’ve forgotten it.” Another big tear formed in her eye and spilled onto the ground.
God knelt at her side and cradled her in his loving arms. “Precious little flower, your name is Myosotis. You may forget your name, you may forget many things; it doesn’t matter. As long as you forget-Me-not!”
And even today, the little Myosotis flower is better known as the Forget-me-not.
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. Genesis 2:19-20