‘the cutest thing in the world’ exists in five dimensions: the commonly known and understood three that describe any object’s location in space, time and the ‘pre-teen coefficient’.

the fourth and the fifth dimension may require additional explanation. you may think that ‘the cutest thing in the world’ is a constant, when in fact it is more like the australian prime ministership: binge watch that new season of game of thrones and half way through the second massacre there is a new chief in canberra.

nobody pays much attention to it any more (far less than to game of thrones, which by the way is a bit like what’s going on in the nation’s capital minus the interesting costumes and the sex – although there is always barnaby). by the time you’d learn the new person’s name they’d already be gone anyway. luckily there is also very little difference in what comes out of their mouth, just a slight change in the rhythm of the incoherent stammerings about what australians should be concerned about, none of which resonates even slightly.

sorry, we got sidetracked. the fifth dimension is much more complex than the other four, which are generally understood among those of us who avoided falling asleep during high school physics class. we have checked but so far very little seems to be known about what happens in the mind of pre-teen girls.

the only thing that there appears to be any consensus about is that it’s a much less dark, emotional and irrational space than the mind of a teen girl. we’re unable to confirm those reports at this point, we are still living in fear of what the future will hold.

as a result the only thing that we can say with some certainty is that today, almost all morning, following a brief period when baby niffler pops held this much coveted spot,  this was ‘the cutest thing in the world’: the lumholtz tree kangaroo.they are really amazing climbers (this one was about ten meters up in the tree on a pretty windy day) and apparently the only kangaroos that can move their hind legs separately. there are fourteen species of tree kangaroos in the world and two of them can be found in northern queensland, with decreasing likelihood.

this is mainly due to loss of suitable trees forming safe corridors (full of said trees) that are not exposed to dogs and, most importantly perhaps, cars. driving through the tabletop mountains we can see how the ancient rain forests were cleared to make way for pastoral lands: now we have lots of cows but as a more or less direct result very few tree kangaroos.

which is disappointing in a number of ways: for one i believe everyone would agree that tree kangaroos are way cuter than cows (and were for a moment this morning the cutest thing in the world, a feat which few cows ever achieve). secondly cows also like trees, which give them shade, a fact that was apparently lost on many farmers. we saw a documentary in the daintree discovery center in which a farmer voicing his surprise and delight that his cows liked trees. and since it did not have a negative effect on the profitability of his business he agreed to plant some more native trees linking up with other forest areas that can then form a safe zone for the tree kangaroos. woohoo.

let’s hope it is not too late for them. they’ll be losing their spot as ‘cutest thing in the world’ any minute now, too.

btw we were looking for these elusive macropods in several places in the atherton tabletops. we finally found one in the yards of the nerada tea factory. they also make good tea and, surprisingly perhaps, also scones.

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