April 13

Wallamina

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One drought-stricken winter, a young wallaby by the name Wallamina searched widely in vain for green leaf to eat. Close by, a small flock of cockatoos scratch the hot ground for loose seed.  Wearily Wallamina approached the flock to ask, ‘Mr Cockatoo you fly wide over country. Can you tell me where to find water nearby?’

          ‘Water! Head towards sunrise – there is a pool among the rocks.’ The other cockies scoff and squawk.

Young Wallamina bound for hours towards a flat horizon. Only to find the coming of night. The next morning her mouth dry. Again she approached the cockatoos for advice. ‘Please Mr cockatoo, I could not find the rocks of sunrise. Are you aware of other billabongs nearby? 

The very same cocky answers her. ‘See that line of trees on the horizon under the midday sun. Close by is a billabong hidden in a ring of eucalypt trees.’ Again the accompanying squawks hold mirth.

Little Wallamina hopped over dry country raising dust in her wake. Through the trees she searched, with no reward. She stopped to rest in what shade she could find and peer out over the flat shimmering hostile land. In the distance water reflects at the feet of a tree ring. Looking up at the scorching sun she decides her need for water warrants the risk.

Bound after tired bound raises dust. Bound after bound no water to be found. Dejected, Wallamina stopped to cry. Her eyes too dry to waste moisture, her sobs fraught.

‘Whoa little wallaby.’ Comes a gentle voice. ‘Why do you cry so?’ 

Wallamina wipes her eye’s to find scaly legs, like young saplings, that support mother Emu. Her five children hide from the sun in her shade. ‘I am lost. I have been in search of water all day and I can find none.’

‘What brought you out here my dear?’ Inquires mother Emu.

‘I asked Mr Cockatoo yesterday and today, where I could find water. He said, near a group of trees there would be a ring of eucalypts, and at their feet a billabong lay. I kept following the tress but, never did I find their shade, or the water they protect.’

‘That horrible Mr Cockatoo. One day he will get his for his mischievous tales. There is no water out here, dear. You must go back to whence you came or perish.’

‘You mean, he lied to me?’

‘Yes dear, I am afraid he did. Let me offer you some good advice. Believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see…’                  

 ‘If I was you trust your nose, it never lies.’


Photo by Priyan Solanki on Unsplash


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