beetlelove and tiger qwolls

 

Beetle love at Long Forest

My quest for oneness with the wilderness yesterday proved more abortive than hoped. For after traveling to Long Forest, practising and succeeding in never moving more than 1-2km above the limit, I found an empty car park and thick, foreboding ocean of leaves and bushes, branch strings of a giant natural harp of doom eerily plucked in the ever changing wind. Still, I grit my fangs and began to whistle my own tune, sought out my trademark walking cane from a felled tree then began to enter the unknown. Hopeful of soon noting the colour of backpacks or other hiking gear. Yet the further I delved, the more quiet everything became. Horrid recollections of Fang Mountain, or Fang Creek, that cult Aussie hack and slash routine began flooding my mind.  Try as I might, I couldn’t shake the sensation that I was walking into a trap. The chances were slim, I pondered, yet they were growing thicker with every step.

Was there a sniper in the shrubs? Would the hounds be soon set upon me? Was this Fang Mountain? I wanted none of these questions answered. The Fear became too much to endure, and so when sighting a small lake, I decided to roam its perimeter, bed down in a position which afforded me an expansive view of the most obvious angles of attack and pretended to read…to lull my enemy into a false sense of security…As I made my way back to the car park a huge hound came tearing towards me, black and white patches of outline, a horse’s head with the legs of a rhino….’JAAAAKEEE..FUCKING GET HERE!’…I thought it best to continue onwards, for perhaps I had outwitted the killer and caught him unawares, he wouldnt expect me to appear walking straight towards him, friendly and open to dialogue. Which may well have proved the case. For next to my bike, chewing on a cigarette rather than smoking it, which did make me uneasy, was a stocky fellow, his neck and face so smeared in grease it was impossible to tell with the swift glances I dared, whether he had a nose…leaning against a pick up truck with a cross bike strapped in the back. Behind him was a car from which emerged a close to toothless witch with straw in place of hair and eyes which seemed long dead…

‘afternoon, folks’ I suggested. Closing my teeth firmly to avoid asking if he was enjoying his lunch.

A nod and grunt followed, with Jake still keen on pouncing upon and devouring me limb from limb, but the snarls of the grease man, still chewing, were enough to at least confuse the poor monster.

We spoke of bikes, him and I, as the undead looked upon me with a ravenous hunger appearing in her glare. As I moved around my beast, preparing for departure, I could not understand why he was still standing, rooted to the spot, two feet away, simply staring at me. I suggested he go for a ride, as there was nobody around for miles in every direction, then screamed on the inside, for I was offering myself up on a damn plate…He didn’t seem to understand the question, his mind filled with other thoughts I had no business knowing…

‘no, might do, could do’….he responded after what seemed an age, yet mere seconds had probably passed. Yet ‘might do’ what exactly? Make me the star of Fang Creek 3?

For seemingly no discernible reason, the witch sprang to life when silence seemed to be taking hold.

‘hard to get drink round here, like when growin’ up….nothing around for miles eh’. grinning now. Which did little to assuage my concerns.

I thought it best to enquire what he had ridden in the past. Whilst explaining my own troubles with the police, of being caught in a haggard vest with a gravestone stating RIP John Law and a biker smoking a joint with the caption ‘I HATE ALL COPPER BASTARDS’ and my circus style pyjamas…and the modifications I had made to my devil steed, I had Hannibal in mind…and remembered that sociopaths sometimes find a slither of empathy in those who stick out from the norm, those who seem to offer something new, or even a hint of solidarity. With my knowledge of dismemberment playing a definite second fiddle to words I have heard mechanically minded folk utter as I nod politely and simply want the bill, I felt I was making solid ground. Perhaps we could be friends…Finally the stout golem looked at the bike rather than me. A wave of relief coursed through my struggling synapses. Taking advantage of the lull in the macabre collision I hopped aboard and began to reverse, finding his witch now directly behind me, as if she had floated or teleported. I wished them both a thoroughly jolly day, looked to him for support…he nodded to demand she make way….and I was off, very much confused yet ecstatic for my liberty.

Who had behaved more strangely? I kept asking myself as I reached the safety of the freeway. Them or me? My conversation had been staccato…perhaps so odd that it startled them. Yet his posture was more odd, more sinister.  And the woman with the straw hair…Yes. My instincts had proven correct. I had caught them off guard, and as they pondered how to reorder their hunting plans, I had appeared so peculiar, rounding my bike probably ten times, smiling politely as the dog lunged ever closer, offering a nervous chuckle ‘hmmm…reminds me of my own hound’, that they had cause to place my fate in the balance, to consider that the world might be a more interesting or simply curious place with me left above ground…

It was as if even the shadows were creeping ever further towards me…In fear, at Fang Creek.

Today I awoke with newfound enthusiasm. Buoyed by the consideration of the extreme low odds of finding random psychopaths eager to hunt me as prey for sport twice in two days, I was up with a start! In the pool before 10. The full moon was approaching and I felt its powerful call strengthening my resolve. Something magical was seeking me. And I took heed. Scanned the options, then decided upon Serendip Sanctuary. Even the typically Australian-  yet quite bizarre in this instance – tendency to shorten words, caused no dismay, even a smile to appear to match our lunar guide prancing towards prominence.

The beast hummed along pleasantly as I moved from city frenzy to calm cruising, carving my way through vast fields, then small one road townships, saluting the cows and horses as I flew by, towards my destination. Missing the entrance thrice failed to weaken my spirits, and I was pleased to find some other human shapes in attendance when finally I set foot on terra firma. I had forged little research, taken more with the name and moderate walking distances of suggested hikes than the particulars, and so, when I entered the wildlife walk and was immediately presented with information outlining how ants would eat us all if they were big enough, I was so very happy and excited, not fearful. If this was a sign of what was to come, I was facing a splendid day…

IF THEY WERE THE SIZE OF DOGS THEY WOULD PREY ON HUMANS

Next came the wallabies, the owls, the lizards, the strange birds with intensely blue eyeshadow…all of which brought joy to my heart. Yet it was the Tiger Quoll with whom I found instant kinship. A curious little fellow with razor sharp teeth who at first narrowed his eyes, scarpered into the husk of a tree in his enclosure, then began to show confidence, eagerness to know me more. We certainly did become friends as he danced on the branches, scurried and kept stopping to peek at me, ensure I was still there, came close enough to whisper, then jumped a 360 at high speed with elation! I was sad to leave the little creature, as I believe he would make a fine comrade, perhaps more for me than for Oscar…

The wide range of ducks appeared cantankerous, yet still I offered my warm greetings as I did to one and all of the vibrant community receiving me into their home. A lake then appeared as I strolled ever onwards, where I read some pages of Knut Hamsun’s Mysteries which fit the scene so amazingly perfectly. For like Nagel in the passage which found me, I was not just beaming with appreciation of all creatures great and small, the grass swaying rhythmically, the ducks quacking, but with a oneness with all life flowing around and through me which nourished my essence so beautifully…

 

As I wrote to Zac, when sitting on a bench and breathing in the loveliness in every direction…-

Ah Herr Jacques! This is what you need my fine fiend! I hear nothing but chirps and the breeze rustling through the trees, see barely a hint of humanity, have made friends with a tiger qwoll, lost my attempt to outglare a tawny which seemed made of stone, the stoic devil!… and feel so serene and enlivened by nature…after yesterday’s disappointing effort serendip sanctuary has provided the nourishment I sought. Spring and its calm early afternoon chorus which only nature can truly sing eases into my soul, my eyes marvel at every leaf, the small ripples in the lakes as another charming beast with delightful plumage dives under, the seamless harmony absent of any obvious conflict, contempt or agony…other than the many bull ants I have inadvertently trampled as I prance…the shallows I am near appear to show rain falling on the surface, yet it’s dry and bright…another marvel! DX

I truly did not wish to leave. My scurry slowed to a silly dance as I reached the final outpost and with a sigh, though heart full of wonder and happiness, I made my way back to the beast, stopping on a bench to enjoy more of Nagel’s antics, yet more so Hamsun’s deep connection with the forest and all its sublime charms.

Despite my repeated introductions, the Tawny refused to acknowledge my presence.

Still now I feel so blessed from such an experience. I cannot help but smile, which emanates from deep within, for the forest accepted me as one of its own, I found oneness. And glorious contentedness. I must seek similar more often, for its too easy to narrow our eyes and our hearts and souls, assume the world is made of brick and glass and traffic and drink and smart phones, when to stride out towards our own humble origins, brings forth so much happiness. To return to our roots, remind ourselves that we are a part of something so much bigger than we find on our screens, is as mesmerizing and energizing as the supernatural glow of the full moon now charging my essence here in the garden, alongside the crystals on the top of the shed…

 

 

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