This is the first or second story I ever wrote. Why?
Because once upon a time, Taren said, “Write me a story Daddy?”
So why is a story that’s not very good being made public here? Because we all have to start somewhere. And one day when I’ve written much better things beginners can come here and see, this is how it starts. Just by starting.
It was the early 1960s, and those were simpler times than these.
It was a glorious time to grow up, and we lived in the best place of all, an old fibro shack on eleven and a half acres of the Australian bush…. trees, dirt, rocks, creeks, lizards, bugs, dogs, cats, possums, snakes, frogs and rabbits…. in short, paradise…
Like I said, things were simpler then…. Like our toilet for instance… it was out the back, that’s right, out the back in the dark, in the cold, in the… well, you get the picture. And it wasn’t like your pristine modern dual flush models, in fact it didn’t flush at all; it was a toilet seat that sat over the top of a big steel bucket, and it smelled like a… well, like a toilet I guess… I loved to look in there when my mum didn’t know what I was doing and poke the big fat maggots with a stick… yes, maggot poking was frowned upon when I was little, but what she didn’t know didn’t hurt her…
Anyway, not everyone loved our luxury outhouse the way I did… my Dad, for instance, had the backbreaking and very smelly job of burying the contents when the bucket was full… he’d go off into the bush a little way and dig a hole big enough, and empty the foul stinking mess of poo, wee, phonebook pages( no supersoft sorbent for us), maggots, and the broken ends of maggotpoking sticks into the hole, then put a few inches of dirt back over the top, and Bob’s your uncle… well, actually, he was my father, but Bob’s your father just doesn’t have the same ring to it, so….
So one day my mum’s in the house as usual baking rock hard biscuits that’d kill a brown dog if it was silly enough to eat one, my dad and his crazy young brother are in the shed working on their motorbikes, my sister’s being boring, as babies are, sleeping her life away, and I’m having a great time poking a big fat juicy maggot with a stick, and two big beefy policemen with big black boots and big deep serious voices come knocking at the door. Apparently someone’s motorbike’s been stolen, and they reckon my Uncle did it, so they’ve come to our place to search for it.
So they look through the shed while they use their big deep voices to tell my Uncle how much trouble he’s gonna be in soon, and they walk around the bush a bit with their big black boots ‘til they find some fresh dirt…. “ Freshly dug hole here, reckon there’ll be stolen bike parts in it”, says one big policeman to the other.
“Yeh mate”, says the other in an even deeper voice than before, “Another freshie over here, looks like we got this bastard cold”.
“Shovel, officers ?”, asked my Dad with a twinkle in his eye.
“Thanks for your co-operation, Sir”, said the even deeper voiced policeman, as my Dad handed him the shovel….
Six holes those big beefy policemen dug up that day, each stinkier than the one before it, and when they left their big black boots were stained with brown, and their voices weren’t near as deep as when they arrived, and the worst part for those poor policemen ?
My mum gave them some of her freshly baked biscuits….