Yowie Country
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We had been having a relaxing picnic in the shady glade beside the beautiful waterfall in the ranges, and the children were off playing games amongst the nearby wild flowers. I was contentedly lying back with my eyes shut, when Midnight, my Percheron draught horse began to snort and become restless. As there was no grass for the horses to browse on, we had secured them by their halter ropes to some trees nearby and within sight of us. I was instantly alert, and sitting up saw Midnight standing with his head held high snorting in alarm. His long, thick tail was stiff and held high, which was a sure sign that he had seen or sensed something, a threat of some kind. By now the other two horses were snorting and pulling back on their halter ropes. I quickly sat up and reached across for my gun as there were packs of feral dogs and dingoes up in this rainforest wilderness, and knew from past experiences that they were partial to horse flesh, when and if the opportunity presented itself. A small child would also be a good sized feed for these carnivores and I suddenly remembered that the children were playing near the edge of the dense forest and were possibly being stalked. I quickly called out to them to return to me. They popped up from amongst the tall flower heads like a couple of garden fairies and came over to me with quizzical expressions, obviously wondering if they had done something wrong and were in trouble. As soon as they saw the gun in my hands and the look on my face their expressions changed to one of alarm. To ease their fears I said quietly, “It’s okay, nothing to worry about. Something has made the horses jittery. Sit down on the blanket and stay put while I scout the area. We all know horses are prone to start and jump at unfamiliar shadows.” I slowly walked over to the restless Percheron, looking in the direction he was staring so fixedly, but could see nothing of concern. I made sure I kept the horses between me and whatever it was out there, so I could see what it was before it disappeared back into the undergrowth. Something sure had Midnight spooked, and as I approached I started talking softly to him, just to let him know I was coming up behind him. In the state he was in now, he could get a fright and kick out before realising it was only me. I knew my way around horses, and knew their bad habits, sometimes more than I knew about people. I made sure his ears pricked and had turned to face me before stepping into range of his massive hooves. Knowing that he knew I was just behind him I confidently put my hand on his rump and stroked him as I walked towards his head. I tried to calm him with soft words and calm assurance. “Easy now Midnight, easy now boy. What’s upsetting you old fella? Something lurking in the bushes you’re not happy about?” As I rubbed the side of his neck affectionately, I stood by his head looking out into the shadows to see what he could see. I could perceive no threat, no packs of feral dogs or dingoes. Suddenly I saw movement, a mere flicker on the periphery of my vision then gone. ‘Maybe just a leaf fluttering,’ I thought to myself. My eyes refocused on the area and I tried to make sense of what I was seeing standing in the deeper shadows. Whatever it was out there must have suddenly realised I had seen it, for I heard a grunt of sound and the bushes suddenly shimmered and rustled as if something big had brushed the branches to one side. I then thought I heard the faint sound of feet running and then nothing. But it could have just been the wind in the trees or the sounds of the burbling creek. This was the second time we had been on a picnic recently and something had stalked us. I was suddenly determined to find out who or what it was, and with a quick glance back at the children I nodded my head reassuringly at them, and set off after the creature or persons unknown. I was used to the bush and enjoyed hunting wild game, as it allowed me to becom

Published: Xlibris on
ISBN: 9781483624891
List price: $4.99
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