Strange Creatures in the Night.
I go outside and look around.
Bright lights, fast cars, quick pace, loud sounds.
Back indoors it’s just the same.
Electric noise; what is my aim?
Life is such a constant hustle;
A daily grind, a frightful bustle.
Round and round; a dizzy spin.
I wish to hear a dropping pin.
But what is this? The noise has stopped.
Oh dear! Oh no! The fridge switched off.
Computer, lights and radio,
Have all shut down – Why is it so?
I go outside.
It’s dark with just a hint of glimmer.
A full moon rises to meet the shimmer
Of a zillion stars in the southern sky.
I breathe in deep; let out a sigh.
In a leisurely manner.
I begin to wander.
A rustling sound! I’m terrified!
I try to find a place to hide.
The moonlight shadows shapes are scary.
Bunyips! Help! – They’re big, they’re hairy!
I cannot move! I’m panic-stricken!
But wait I see the plot does thicken.
A possum treads across my feet and scurries up an old gum-tree.
It glances back; my heart skips beats: A brush tail not a bunyip! See.
Composedly I stumble on.
My fear almost entirely gone.
A chorus: calming; echoes rhyming; rhythmic, placid, soulful blues.
Ribbit; ribbit; ribbit; ribbit… I take note and I muse.
And then a shock! I want to cry.
The moon has fallen from the sky.
It’s landed in the billabong.
So this is why the sad frog song.
What can I do? How can I help?
“Boobook, boobook.” What’s that I yelp?
The Bunyip! Shh! The frogs go quiet.
Oh please I do not want to fight.
And then I see a silhouette. Against the moon… back in the sky?
An owl perched high up on a tree branch. Not a bunyip. Phew! I sigh.
The frogs resume their old refrain.
And still the moon shall wax and wane.
The hours pass. The moon sets west.
A digging sound. I need a rest.
I bumble round and find a seat.
Oh dear! Oh me! This seat’s got feet!
It is the end! I have been caught!
I sniff; I stutter… indeed I snort.
Then suddenly I’m flying high.
The bunyip’s tossed me to the sky.
And as I come back down to earth,
The view, it fills my soul with mirth.
My home, set there; quite near the wild.
This night adventure; I am beguiled…
Ouch! I land with such a thud.
A graceless splat into the mud.
The dawn arrives with a different sound.
But just for now I homeward bound.
And by the way, I meant to say
That seat with feet by light of day
Was not a bunyip but a wombat.
And no, I’m not an acrobat!
By Louise McCarthy