Excerpt from “Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland” by Constance Campbell Petrie ~~Tracking~~

picture-ReminiscencesEarlyQld-PetrieThe aboriginals used to possess really wonderful tracking powers. Some people have the idea that they could track by means of a sense of smell, but that was not so; what really helped them was their marvellous eyesight. Father had been with them while they followed a wounded kangaroo, which had previously got away with a spear in his body. They followed the track for nearly a quarter of a mile, just walking along and pointing out to the white boy as they went a spot of blood on a blade of grass here and there, which he could hardly see, and at other times a track in the grass which he could not see at all.

They went on thus till they came to a large flat rock on the side of a ridge, and here they went down on their knees and commenced to blow on the rock. Father asked what they did that for? “We want to see which way that fellow go ‘cross.” At last they called to him to look, and said, “That fellow been go over here.” The white boy looked, and saw, when they blew on the rock, tiny loosened particles of moss moving. Evidently as the kangaroo passed that way his feet displaced the minute leaves of the moss. They had not much further to go before they came to the animal, lying dead with the spear through the body.


1 Comment

Filed under Literature, Non-Fiction

One response to “Excerpt from “Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland” by Constance Campbell Petrie ~~Tracking~~

  1. Thomas Petrie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 31 January 1831, and died in Brisbane on 26 August 1910, aged 79 years. His family travelled to Australia in 1831 and moved to Moreton Bay (subsequently Brisbane) in 1837.
    He was allowed to mix freely with Aboriginal children, learnt to speak the local language, Turrbal and was encouraged to share in all Aboriginal activities. He was accepted by the Aboriginals and was often used as a messenger and invited on exploration expeditions.
    The book was first published in 1904.

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