25 Paradise?

Post your true-blue Aussie yarns here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

25 Paradise?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:31 am

25 Paradise?

© Stephen Whiteside 07.11.2011

Once again, the sun was high in the sky by the time the two awoke.

Magnifico yawned, and stretched his limbs luxuriantly. There was something about this creek that he liked. He couldn’t put his finger on it, didn’t even give it much thought, but in his bones, it felt good.

They walked to the end of their newly dug tunnel, and gazed out at the world. The sky was blue. The coast looked clear.

Once out in the daylight, on the grassy bank, they began to survey their surroundings. Horatio was impressed at how low the water level was. It was still running swiftly and deeply, but was way below the level of the banks. Clearly, the creek must drain into a large river not far away. He was impressed at how quickly the flood water had drained generally. Clearly a big river. A very, very big river.

Magnifico was impressed with his surroundings too, but in a different way. He concentrated on different things. He loved the thick grass. It was soft and friendly, and easy to hide in. It would be very hard for any predator to see a little mouse through all of this. Then again it was soft enough to walk through, and sprang up behind him after he had passed.

So which way should they explore? Horatio favoured going down stream. He wanted to find that river, and any upstream movement felt like a backward step. Magnifico, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. If anything, he felt, the creek was still a bit too deep and rapid for his liking. It would be hard to cross, too, and that might be important sometimes. Perhaps if they went upstream they would find a slightly more gentle flow of water, and a possible crossing point.

It was the smell that decided them, though. It carried on the breeze, and was clearly dead meat. A dead animal was lying downstream. Quickly remembering just how truly ravenous they both were, the two trotted off enthusiastically after another meal.

Lying in the grass a short way above the water, they came across a dead rabbit. It had come down on the flood, become lodged against a piece of wood at a slight bend, and then been left by the falling water.

It must have been there a good while already in the hot sun. Flies buzzed around it furiously. The meat was no longer fresh, and was clearly already well on the way to becoming rotten, but Horatio and Magnifico had strong stomachs, and a big hunger. First they ate the eyes. They were juicy, and slightly salty. Delicious. Then they began to tear away at the fur of the abdomen, determined to reach the soft, juicy liver inside. It was wearying work, and they paused once or twice to rest on the soft grass before returning to their endeavours.

They were very conscious of the strength of the spoor. If they could smell it, other animals could too. They might soon be joined by other mice and rats, or even bigger animals, that might prefer fresh meat to rank, and Horatio and Magnifico to this stinking dead rabbit! So they must work fast. Also, they were fairly exposed in their current endeavours. And distracted. A predator could creep up on them without them even realising, so intent were they on their quest of securing another meal.

Fortunately, the legacy of the flood continued to protect them. There just didn’t seem to be many live creatures around, and there were a lot of dead ones. The balance of life was well and truly in their favour - but it would not always be this way.

Finally they found they had gnawed their way into the abdominal cavity. They tore at the wall furiously to open it up. There lay their prized goal, the liver. For many minutes they gorged themselves on the sweet, juicy flesh. At last, deeply contented, and straining fit to burst, they retreated and lay heavily, and panting slightly, in the long grass.

Once they had recovered a little, they were keen to return to their tunnel once again. There was no point in lying outside and being visible longer than necessary. Their only regret was that they could not take some of the rabbit home with them. That, though, was a luxury reserved for civilised rodents. Wild rodents like them were destined to live for the day only. Come tomorrow the rabbit might barely be edible, or be gone forever. That was a risk, however, that they must take.

And so these normally fleet of foot and agile little creatures pondered heavily home, swaying side to side slightly under the huge load of rabbit liver in their stomachs. They found their tunnel without difficulty, hidden by long grass though it was, crept to the end, lay down side by side, and fell asleep.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7653
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: 25 Paradise?

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:56 am

Aaaaaargh - liver and eyes and slightly off as well, and I was enjoying a nice coffee as I read. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: 25 Paradise?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:04 pm

Hi there, Maureen. Apparently, when the rats feasted on the dead soldiers in No Man's Land on the Western Front it was the eyes and liver that were first eaten. I read that somewhere.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7653
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: 25 Paradise?

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:44 pm

Oh well then if it is factual I will go get another coffee :lol: :lol: Doesn't bear thinking about - lucky I am a fan of 'Bones' and read Patricia Caldwell...so it doesn't really bother me and I suppose the corpse wouldn't be bothered either. :roll:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

Post Reply