Grief and crocodiles

Steve Irwin with a crocodile at his Australia Zoo. A photo from Richard Giles flickr.com/people/richardgiles/

In our house we’re sort of unexpectedly mourning strange, stupid Steve Irwin. The man was a bit rough – a sort of Anti-Attenborough, barely literate (mashing up the language like George W), constantly wading into nasty-looking lakes and rivers and oceans in his stupid khaki shorts (did the man not possess a pair of swimming trunks?).

Anyway, he may have been a bit unhinged (I really don’t know how Terri put up with him – the baby incident must have nearly killed her) but he got millions of kids excited about wildlife (well, mostly crocodiles, I suppose) and he was obviously a genuinely big-hearted bloke with a great passion for big, fierce creatures. Now that he’s gone I find myself missing him more than I’d have thought possible. Silly sod.

When I told my eight year-old son about Irwin’s death – carefully and with a mind to what he might hear at school if I didn’t prepare him – he thought for a minute and then said: “I suppose they’ll only show the old TV shows now, then”. There you go: that’s all you need to know about an eight year-old’s concept of loss.

Thanks to Richard Giles for the terrific Creative Commons pic.

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