“And stay out of the tall grass, Jude. It’s crawling with snakes there,” Jude’s grandmother warned.
“Don’t worry, Nana,” Jude shouted, slamming the screen door shut behind him, as he ran out into the backyard.
Nana smiled with a hint of melancholy. She was proud of the way her six year old grandson was taking his loss. It was almost a year ago when his parents – Nana’s son and daughter-in-law – were killed in a car accident. Soon afterwards, Jude had moved from the city to live with her and Grandpa on their cattle station near Mount Archer. At first, she had been afraid that Jude would shut himself off, but the move to the country proved to be the perfect remedy. Jude had found solace in Nature.
She is my friend
As the late summer sun rose, its rays slowly filtering through the misty haze, Benedicto climbed steadily up the steep, rocky slope in the foothills just outside his village. After walking for an hour or so, the nonagenarian stopped to catch his breath. He looked into the distance to take in the magnificent view before him. While he rubbed at his grey, gristly beard, his mind wandered off to the days when he was a young boy.
With a glum look on his face, the young Aboriginal hunter, Manimanuk, looked out over the plains from the rocky outcrop where he was standing. Angry words had been spoken earlier that morning in the camp of his people. To Manimanuk it seemed as if there were two camps. One, led by one of the elders, was determined to move on to better hunting grounds before the dry season came. The other camp felt it was better to wait until one of the mothers fully recovered after breaking her leg while foraging for yams.
“So, what was that stupid mistake you were talking about?” Deborah asked Jenny curiously, when they had finished talking to Norm on the footpath just outside the beach house.
The question made Jenny blush with shame. At the same time, Jenny knew it was better for both her and Deborah to get it off her chest. So, she cleared her throat and began to tell Deborah about the mistake that was troubling her.
“You mentioned stalking back there and that’s when I realized who could be stalking you.”
Deborah’s eyes opened wide as she listened closely to her sister’s words.
“Let’s go inside,” she suggested.
“Good idea,” Jenny replied, and they went inside through the front door.
Part 4 in the Helena Series
After enjoying the view at the bayou, Helena and Marlon walked back to the gardens of the grand old house. There they stood beside Grandma’s oak again. Out of reverence for the wise old tree, they hesitated to lay their hands on its sturdy, grooved bark. Instead, they stood there for a while holding hands. In doing so, they soon noticed how powerful the oak was even at a distance. It filled them with a sense of calm.