Mateship n. the quality or state of being a mate; esp: fellowship On the outskirts of a country town in the early 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a raucous family of kookaburras roosting next to his dairy. But as Harry observes the birds through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song, his neighbour, Betty, has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Of Betty's two fatherless children, it is Michael who gravitates towards the gentle man next door, and Harry, sensing Michael is ready to stretch his wings, decides to teach him the oldest lessons in the world. Harry knows all about girls. But how much does he really know Betty? Mateship with Birds is a tender, witty novel of young lust and mature love. A glorious tale of innocence lost, it celebrates life on one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, and a collection of misfits who question what a family might be.