Published on January 11th, 2016 | by Al
NO-ONE EVER DOES
It rained overnight, and after breakfast the girl-child busied herself feeding chickens and gathering eggs and renewing her acquaintance with the dogs. Ben did a couple of hour’s work in the main shed. I changed the oil and filters on his SV while I was waiting, and then we told the girls that the patriarchy didn’t run itself, you know, and we had to attend a highly confidential meeting to ensure its continuing smooth operation.
It was about twenty five kilometres of mainly dirt road to the Gold and Fleece Hotel at Windeyer. It was a beautiful day, and the overnight rain kept the dust down. We sat in the beer garden and drank beer. Sparrows hopped on our bikes, and an eastern spinebill drank nectar from a bush two metres away. I tried to check my messages, but my phone couldn’t get signal.
There was a dead possum at a wiring junction up high on a power pole, and we photographed it and concocted a story on its electrocution to appall the girl-child.
We headed north on the Windeyer Road, which I had never been on before, and turned west on the Hill End Road. We stopped at Bishops View. It’s very scenic. One day I will explore the Bishops View Road down into the valley. I tried to check my messages, but my phone couldn’t get signal. “You ride this bit of the Hill End Road every day?” I said to Ben. “I bet you arrive in a good mood.”
“You get used to it”, he said. “Then one day you have to take the car and you realise how sweet it is the other days.”
We got back and roasted some pork and vegetables and drank more beer. We sat down to eat, and Ben told the girl-child about the possum he saw near the pub and how he thought it was sick, so he picked it up and it attacked him, and he threw it up in the air and it landed on the power cable and died amid a loud noise and a smell of burning flesh.
She was appalled.
I changed the subject. I said my holidays were coming to an end and I would be going back to work on Monday. Ben said he was taking two days leave the next week to go hunting. The girl-child said she was going to go with her mother to pick up my birthday present on the weekend.
“Really?” I said. “What did you get me?”
“We got you an elephant for your room”, she told me.
“Um, thanks”, I said.
“Don’t mention it”, she said.