Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Three Sisters

 

Legend of the Three Sisters

Long ago in the Blue Mountains, three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo, lived with their witchdoctor father, Tyawan. They lived happily in the mountains but they shared one fear – the bunyip, who lived in a deep hole nearby. So, to protect his daughters when he was away, Tyawan would leave them high on a cliff behind a rock wall.

One day, after waving goodbye to his daughters, Tyawan descended into the valley. However, when a large centipede appeared on the cliff top sanctuary, it so frightened Meehni that she threw a stone at it. But the stone rolled over the cliff.

Suddenly, all the animals were silent and the rock behind the three sisters split open, leaving them isolated on a thin ledge. There was a rumble below and all the creatures began to flee yelling “quick, here comes the bunyip!”. Horrified, the three frightened sisters huddled together.

The angry bunyip, who had emerged from his sleep, looked up to see what had rudely awakened him. When he spotted the sisters, perched on the thin ledge, he lurched furiously towards them.

In the valley, Tyawan had heard the commotion and looked up to see that the bunyip had almost reached his daughters. Frantic, the witchdoctor pointed his magic bone at his daughters and turned them into stone. It would keep them safe until the bunyip had gone, after which Tyawan would return them to their former selves.

The bunyip became even more enraged when he saw what had happened. He turned on Tyawan and chased him. While fleeing, Tyawan became trapped by a rock which he could neither climb not circle, so he quickly changed himself into a lyrebird and disappeared into a small cave. But alas, although everyone was safe, Tyawan had lost his magic bone!

After the bunyip returned home, Tyawan crept out of his cave to search for his magic bone. And he is still looking for it to this day.

Meanwhile, the three sisters standing silently watching from their mountain ledge, hoping one day he will find the magic bone to bring them back to life.

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Excerpt from “Somme Mud” by E.P.F. Lynch ~~Christians~~

We’ve left Querrieu and are marching up in platoons for the front line. We are to go in at Villers-Bretonneux. Today is the 27th April and we know that our 13th and 15th Brigades took the village back from Fritz on the 25th, just two days ago. We’ve been told that Amiens can be seen from Villers-Bretonneux and therefore Fritz will be sure to have a go to retake it, so we expect fireworks when we get into the line.

Near the village now and can see it and several thick woods nearby. We are halted near a crossroad. A large crucifix stands here bearing a life-size metal figure of Christ, all shot about by shrapnel. Within a radius of thirty yards we count eleven dead men of some British regiment and four dead Aussies. These crossroads have been a death-trap. Men have bled and died here. Christians killed by Christians and over their poor bodies, the gigantic cross of Christ! A shrapnel-torn, bullet-marked symbol of the cross upon which Christ died for men. We look at the cross and those fifteen bodies lying so still around it and wonder, thinking queer, half-logical reasonings we can’t well express.

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“Highwayman” released by The Highwaymen

I was a highwayman, along the coach roads I did ride,

With sword and pistol by my side.

Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade.

Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade.

The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five:

But I am still alive.

 

I was a sailor, I was born upon the tide.

And with the sea I did abide.

I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico.

I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow.

And when the yards broke off, they said that I got killed:

But I am living still.

 

I was a dam builder across the river deep and wide;

Where steel and water did collide.

A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado,

I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below.

They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound:

But I am still around.

I’ll always be around,

And around and around and around and around.

 

I fly a starship across the Universe divide.

And when I reach the other side,

I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can.

Perhaps I may become a highwayman again.

Or I may simply be a single drop of rain;

But I will remain.

And I’ll be back again,

And again and again and again and again.

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Sniff-Snuff-Snap! by Lynley Dodd

Sniff – Snuff – Snap!
The sun was hot,
The day was still,
The animals came
To drink their fill.
Down past rocks
And thornbush tree
Down to the waterhole,
One, two, three.
One bossy warthog, tail up high,
Two yellow weaver birds, passing by.
“EEEEEE!”
Squealed the warthog,
“SNIFF – SNUFF – SNAP!”
He chased them away…
BUT
They both sneaked back.
Back to the waterhole,
Green and brown,
And slowly,
The water went down
And
Down.
Three shy dik diks, tip-tap-toe,
Four old baboons in a grumpy row.
“EEEEEE!”
Squealed the warthog,
“SNIFF – SNUFF – SNAP!”
He chased them away…
BUT
They all sneaked back.
Back to the waterhole,
Green and brown,
And slowly,
The water went down
And
Down.
Five fine leopards, out of sight,
Six striped zebras, black and white.
“EEEEEE!”
Squealed the warthog,
“SNIFF – SNUFF – SNAP!”
He chased them away…
BUT
They all sneaked back.
Back to the waterhole,
Green and brown,
And slowly,
The water went down
And
Down.
Seven tall giraffes with feet astride,
Eight fat elephants, side by side.
“EEEEEE!”
Squealed the warthog,
“SNIFF – SNUFF – SNAP!”
He chased them away…
BUT
They all sneaked back.
Back to the waterhole,
Green and brown,
And slowly,
The water went down
And
Down.
Back came the warthog,
Tired and hot
For a long drink
At his favourite spot.
Down past rocks,
And thornbush tree
He came to a waterhole
BUT what did he see?
THICK BROWN MUD

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Excerpt from “The Little White Bird” by J. M. Barrie ~~Lock-out~~

But, mind you, though Peter was so slow in going back to his mother, he was quite decided to go back. The best proof of this was his caution with the fairies. They were most anxious that he should remain in the Gardens to play to them, and to bring this to pass they tried to trick him into making such a remark as “I wish the grass was not so wet,” and some of them danced out of time in the hope that he might cry, “I do wish you would keep time!” Then they would have said that this was his second wish. But he smoked their design, and though on occasions he began, “I wish—” he always stopped in time. So when at last he said to them bravely, “I wish now to go back to mother for ever and always,” they had to tickle his shoulders and let him go.

He went in a hurry in the end, because he had dreamt that his mother was crying, and he knew what was the great thing she cried for, and that a hug from her splendid Peter would quickly make her to smile. Oh, he felt sure of it, and so eager was he to be nestling in her arms that this time he flew straight to the window, which was always to be open for him.

But the window was closed, and there were iron bars on it, and peering inside he saw his mother sleeping peacefully with her arm round another little boy.

Peter called, “Mother! mother!” but she heard him not; in vain he beat his little limbs against the iron bars. He had to fly back, sobbing, to the Gardens, and he never saw his dear again. What a glorious boy he had meant to be to her! Ah, Peter, we who have made the great mistake, how differently we should all act at the second chance. But Solomon was right; there is no second chance, not for most of us. When we reach the window it is Lock-out Time. The iron bars are up for life.

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Excerpt from “Ordinary Heroes” by Barry Dickins ~~Wal Johnson~~

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time

Wal Johnson

He sees Damien Parer’s photographs of him ‘as a bit of bad luck’, but you can see in one glance why Wally is famous for these front-line images. Resting on the wiry little arms of stretcher-bearer Sergeant Gordon Ayre, the shrapnelled soldier with blinded eyes and defiant stump of cigarette wades almost unconscious to the other side of a stream. We see Fuzzy-wuzzy Angels carting tucker in tubs in the background. Taken from Parer’s 16-millimetre footage, this picture was everywhere during the wartime recruitment drives, making Wally a reluctant vehicle of patriotic propaganda. …

Points to photograph of himself.

When Parer shot this phota – you see it there? – we never knew a thing about it. When we got across the river he introduced himself. ‘Both of you are on film. I’ve got you going right across.’ It was a movie camera. He was friendly – not pushy. He said to us – I couldn’t see, just heard him say, ‘Damien Parer – Australian war correspondent …’

Could I see? No. Temporarily blinded – shrapnel, dirt, dust, you name it. Flying bits and pieces. Two of us set out on patrol to see but not be seen, picking up Jap positions on Razorback Ridge and … and … unluckily for us we were seen first. Next thing we know it was booom! … boooom! – grenades! Blew us over the ridge – over the kunai – that’s the big spiky grass. They come out of their positions and machine-gunned us.

His hands are parallel lines of machine-gun fire.

In the morning, it was. How was I feeling before we went out? Damned nervous! This happened in a place called The Coconuts.

Said thin-lipped.

It seems a long time ago now.

Why is this picture so famous? I wouldn’t … have … a … clue! Parer named it ‘Comradeship’ …

He leans forward to show me his skull up close – points to a fragment of metal-particle lodged in there somehow – we are now eyeball to eyeball.

See in there, in the hair …? One bit in there. See it now? Right cheek. See that bit of metal? Ayre took me to the dressing station. He took me over there to the edge of the river and I collapsed. I’d lost a lot of blood. Copped it in the arm.

I ask him to roll up his sleeves to show me. He obliges willingly. The shrapnel wounds have come up a dark red unwelcome colour.

I was young. Nineteen when I joined the army. Nineteen, I was. That’s July 13th. I was twenty-one there.

Looking at the photograph.

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“Bradman” released by Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls

Sydney, 1926, this is the story of a man

Just a kid in from the sticks, just a kid with a plan

St George took a gamble, played him in first grade

Pretty soon that young man showed them how to flash the blade

And at the age of nineteen he was playing for the State

From Adelaide to Brisbane the runs did not abate

He hit ’em hard, he hit ’em straight

He was more than just a batsman

He was something like a tide

He was more than just one man

He could take on any side

They always came for Bradman ’cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

A team came out from England

Wally Hammond wore his felt hat like a chief

All through the summer of ’28, ’29 they gave the greencaps no relief

Some reputations came to grief

They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn

And in the hour of greatest slaughter the great avenger is being born

But who then could have seen the shape of things to come

In Bradman’s first test he went for eighteen and for one

They dropped him like a gun

Now big Maurice Tate was the trickiest of them all

And a man with a wisecracking habit

But there’s one crack that won’t stop ringing in his ears

“Hey Whitey, that’s my rabbit”

Bradman never forgot it

He was more than just a batsman

He was something like a tide

He was more than just one man

He could take on any side

They always came for Bradman ’cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

England 1930 and the seed burst into flower

All of Jackson’s grace failed him, it was Bradman was the power

He murdered them in Yorkshire, he danced for them in Kent

He laughed at them in Leicestershire, Leeds was an event

Three hundred runs he took and rewrote all the books

That really knocked those gents

The critics could not comprehend his nonchalant phenomenon

“Why this man is a machine,” they said. “Even his friends say he isn’t human”

Even friends have to cut something

He was more than just a batsman

He was something like a tide

He was more than just one man

He could take on any side

They always came for Bradman ’cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

Summer 1932 and Captain Douglas had a plan

When Larwood bowled to Bradman it was more than man to man

And staid Adelaide nearly boiled over as rage ruled over sense

When Oldfield hit the ground they nearly jumped the fence

Now Bill Woodill was as fine a man as ever went to wicket

And the bruises on his body that day showed that he could stick it

But to this day he’s still quoted and only he could wear it

“There’s two teams out there today and only one of them’s playing cricket.”

He was longer than a memory, bigger than a town

He feet they used to sparkle and he always kept them on the ground

Fathers took their sons who never lost the sound of the roar of the grandstand

Now shadows they grow longer and there’s so mush more yet to be told

But we’re not getting any younger, so let the part tell the whole

Now the players all wear colours, the circus is in town

I can no longer go down there, down to that sacred ground

He was more than just a batsman

He was something like a tide

He was more than just one man

He could take on any side

They always came for Bradman ’cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

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