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Adieu, sweet wollyrumbas

Before entering officership, I was employed by the Army for 15 years, and, for a few years, I had a boss who used to say to our staff team: “Never walk into my office with a problem unless you’ve also got an idea of how to fix it.”


At first, I thought this was not quite right – surely he was called ‘boss’ and paid the big money (as we say) because he could solve our problems! He was the experienced, considered and wise one who would make all our problems go away.


I came to understand and appreciate his approach. He wanted us to learn to think for ourselves and develop problem-solving skills. He wasn’t that fussed if, ultimately, we couldn’t solve the problem at hand, but he wanted us to at least try.


I wonder how his approach would have worked with Noah …


Noah: Sorry to report this, boss, but we seem to have a leak in the ark.

God: What caused it?

Noah: The gophers. Got peckish last night and started gnawing. We’ve got two holes.

God: And have you tried to fix it?

Noah: Yes, I have, but it might only be a temporary fix.

God: What did you two?

Noah: I shoved two toads in the holes.

God: Why would you do that?

Noah: Plugs the holes.

God: Well, they’re amphibious, so I guess they can breathe inside while their little legs can kick away all they want outside, might even make the boat go faster. Ha!

Noah: Oh, yeah, legs outside, that would work better.

God: Tell me you haven’t just killed the only two toads in the world, Noah.

Noah: Oh, no, of course not. Might just have to wait for a while though, until the tadpoles grow.

God: Anything else, Noah?

Noah: Well, there was a problem with the donkeys. Apparently, some jealousy with the zebras. They didn’t know why the zebras were given pyjamas for the voyage and they weren’t.

God: Please tell me you put them straight on that.

Noah: Yep, all sorted. I waited until the donkeys went to sleep last night and then painted stripes on them. They’re both good today.

God: Okay. Just don’t let them go up on deck in the rain.

Noah: What, the zebras?

God: No, the donkeys.

Noah: Oh no, I won’t make that mistake again.

God: What mistake?

Noah: Well, I took the wollyrumbas up there for a look, and they immediately flew away.

God: The wollyrumbas are gone?

Noah: Yep, seems so.

God: So, the world will never again hear the plaintive, croaking song of the wollyrumbas?

Noah: No … oh, that reminds me. Must go and turn the toads around. See ya, boss.


– Major Mal Davies and his wife Major Tracey are the Corps Officers at Adelaide City Salvos


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