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.
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.