Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the dingo and the calf

It was a dark, still night. The stars which normally lit the country sky were obscured by cloud. The farmhouse stood waiting for dawn, its walls creaking now and then as if in time with the breathing of its occupants. The woman snored softly. The man dreamt of ride-on mowers. The cat twitched its tail as it slept, stretched out across the foot of the bed.

A panicked bellow broke the silence, abruptly waking the sleeping couple. A moment later, the frantic bellowing came again- the sound of an animal in distress, in pain. The woman's heart raced; the man leapt up and ran to the door. The woman searched for a torch while the man stood and yelled - a wordless, primal scream; a defiant warning to any marauding creature.

Together the man and woman strode off into the paddocks, with just the torch beam to guide them. They checked the livestock in the house paddock, they counted cattle on the creek flat. All animals were accounted for, and appeared to be unharmed. The woman giggled to herself - partly with relief, and partly because she was as naked as the day she was born. There had been no time to dress.

The couple trudged back to the farmhouse, and discussed the night's events as they made their way back to bed.

"Must have been one of Connor's cattle", the woman mused.

"Yeah", the man agreed.

The house fell silent, and the woman and man slept until sunup.

The next day, the man went off to work. The woman went into town for provisions.

As the woman arrived home, she noticed one of the calves, Amy, was lying down. The woman stopped the car, and anxiously approached the pretty white calf. It was clear the calf had been the victim of a dingo attack the previous night.

One flank had the distinct puncture marks of upper and lower teeth. The other back leg was ravaged, knawed, chewed, but the calf's hide had not been pierced. The woman knew both leg injuries were at risk of serious infection. She telephoned the local vet, and arranged to collect some antibiotics, which she injected. She sprayed the wounds with antiseptic. She fervently hoped that little Amy would pull through.

The woman and man moved the two motherless calves, Amy and Boo, into a safer paddock. Over the next few days, Amy slowly began to move about again. And so far, the dingo has not returned.



Epilogue:
The woman's daughter came to visit her last weekend. The woman's daughter took photos of the calf, Amy, and her injuries. The woman told the daughter she could relate the story of Amy and the dingo, providing she didn't mention the woman's nakedness.

The daughter is notoriously unreliable.






16 comments:

susan said...

Uh-oh are you in trouble with your mum! Great story, I was immediately pulled in. At first I wondered if this was the entry for the writing contest - by the way, how did that turn out?

Great writing! And tell your mum it's a good thing she lives in the country if she insists on streaking around at night...

~susan
~patchwork reflections
~memories in a jar

Motherkitty said...

Poor little Amy. I trust she's getting better with the care she's receiving from your brave mum, racing out in the dead of night with nothing more than a flashlight to protect herself with.

Those marauding dingos must be pretty fierce creatures. They would scare me. Didn't they make a movie (with Meryl Streep) about dingos stealing her baby in the outback?

BTW, your mum didn't see any flashbulbs going off while she was out prancing in the altogether, did she? Tell her not to worry that anyone saw her, that is unless her picture is published in the daily tabloids. I can see it now -- FARMER'S WIFE CAUGHT TRACKING DINGOS IN THE BUFF. Wouldn't that make for interesting reading?

jellyhead said...

Hi Susan and Motherkitty.

I thought I'd better add a comment here, to put your minds at ease. Mum DID originally tell me not to say she was naked, but later she laughed and said, 'Oh, I don't CARE!'. So I just took her at her word....he he.

jellyhead said...

Oh, and NO I didn't win anything in that writing competition. :(
I did have fun writing for it, though!

Remiman said...

Daughter,
Whom takes after who in this tale? ;-)
rel

DayByDay4-2Day said...

I thought this must just be a story, until I saw the photos!!!
:(

TUFFENUF said...

I love this story! I could just picture a naked woman running wide-eyed! You are a good writer, Jelly! Buy your Mum a bathrobe to keep by the bed for future dingo raids!

meggie said...

No! Dont buy the bathrobe, just let her be!!
What could be more liberating, than protecting something you really care about.
Loved the story!

thisisme said...

Loved the story, and the photos were a bonus - please let us know how Amy goes. Good thing for your mum it is summer - frost bite would not have been fun :)

John Cowart said...

Dramatic. Scary. Sure to be a great hit with your Mom.

Redneck Mommy said...

I love your mom, Jelly. You know that. But I love her even more picturing her running out of the house to protect one of her creatures...buck naked.

Go Jellyma!!

Brilliant writing, by the way, Jelly. You had me on the seat of my chair.

Mimi said...

Oh my gosh, what a story. Poor little baby. I'm glad she's ok. Gosh I feel like an ignoramus. I thought Dingo's just lived somewhere out in the wild of Africa with the hyenas. I loved the ending part too, very funny.

P.S., thank you for your kind comments on my blog, I tried to email you but it seems the address didn't go through.

Mimi

Heather said...

We've had many nekkid late night adventures around here. It makes for interesting stories. :-)

This was very well-written.

Kerri said...

Oh boy, are you in trouble!
Susan and I must have great minds (ah-hem). She always seems to have written just what I'm thinking after reading your posts. I must make a point of beating her to your next one, so my thoughts will seem original, and not like I'm copying hers! LOL
You see, I was wondering about the writing competion too. I'm glad you had fun. I hope you'll enter in future competitions.
Ross has a suggestion for Jellyma for keeping critters away (it's a method we use that works well). I'll e-mail and tell her what it is.
I'm so glad the poor little calf is alright. What an ordeal!
As for Jellyma's attire, or lack thereof...must've been a hot night :)
Great writing, great pictures too.

Alice said...

wonderful story, with everything, Jelly - pathos, wisdom, humor, and a little twist in the tale. You write so beautifully.

I hope Amy is making a good recovery.

threecollie said...

Wow, that is really frightening! We have coyotes here in the states. They rarely bother the cows and calves, but every once in a while they will go after one.