As I was about to leave to vote in the Federal Election, the phone rang. I had a joey to pick up not far from where I live, so I could do the civic thing and the humane thing in one trip. Which is nice.
The joey is an eastern grey and stands about 50cm high. He's "at foot" which means he can hop around without being wobbly and can eat grass, but still requires milk from mum as a primary food source. The people have had him for almost a week and did not feed him cow's milk (which is good) and gave him water (which is good) and let him out to eat grass (which is natural) but made no effort to find a proper milk source for him. The poor little joey was all thin and boney by the time I picked him up. They named him Jeremy. He dived into his pillow case when I arrived, and we packed him into the washing basket full of towels I use for Small Animal rescues. He kicked around for a moment and settled down. I put the basket in the sun on the back seat of the car to keep him warm, and set off to take him out to his new home on the edge of Town.
About ten minutes into the trip I glanced in the rear-view mirror and was surprised to see a furry face looking at me. Jeremy had escaped from his basket and was standing on the seat so he could see out. His ears were up and he was alert and didn't seen at all frightened. Maybe he was thinking "This hopping at speed is easy! I wonder why mum complained about it." He walked/hopped from one side of the car to the other, pausing to look out the windows. Eventually he settled on top of the washing basket and watched the world pass by at speed.
The traffic lights went red and I pulled up beside a plumber's ute. In the back was a red cattle dog. I didn't think anything of it until I noticed in the mirror the joey had stood tall and was watching the dog and twitching. The dog saw the joey and went
The traffic light took several years to change to green so I could drive through and get off the road. In the meantime the inside of the car filled with a thouroughly frightened kangaroo that bounced off all the interior surfaces, including me, like a furry superball fired from a bazooka. When I finally pulled over I grabbed a spare pillow case and opened it in my lap, intending to offer it to the joey as a place to hide. The animal shot over my head from behind, bounced off the steering wheel and dived straight into the invitingly open bag, effectively giving me a high-speed head butt to the niagras. Once in the bag he stuggled and kicked to get comfortable, making contact a few times with my already pained goolies in the process, then settled down. I checked for broken bones and other injuries, then I examined the joey. I had a fat lip, and the joey had a scrape on his nose.
When I could straighten up without crying, I placed the pillow case in the washing basket on the back seat and piled the towels on top to keep him in. I no longer cared if the joey was comfortable, I simply wanted him confined.
It took another ten minutes before I felt ready to continue the drive. It was, thankfully, free of further kangaroo incidents.
On the way home I had to stop the car to hunt a shingleback lizard off the road.
It bit me.