Australia Short Stories

Updated on May 12, 2020

The outback tracker.

The car drove up to the old bush pub, and a well-dressed city fellow stepped out and headed towards the bar.

"How ya going?" asked the old bearded Bushman perched on a bench on the Pub veranda. "What's a city fella doing out this way?".

"I'm looking for some mates that have gone fishing somewhere around here".

The old bushman wrinkled his face and said "This is not good country to be wandering around looking for someone if you don't know where he's at. Lucky for you, I am a bush tracker, and I know this area like the back of my hand. Pretty sure I can point you in the right direction".

The old Bushman smacked his lips, gave a slight nodding of his head and went silent.

"Can I buy you a beer "offered the City Guy.

"Sounds like a good idea," said the bushman, and turned to the only other person on the pub veranda saying "This gentleman has offered to by us a beer George."

The three men entered the bar.

"I did see some tire tracks earlier this morning," said the Bushtracker " Two cars, the first one a four-wheel drive, heavy, probably a Land-cruiser, maybe a Patrol. Followed by a smaller tread, four-wheel drive, much lighter, it might have been one of those little Isuzu buggies.

I also saw some footprints at the Junction. The tracks suggested one tall fellow, long-legged fellow, town shoes. Also a weighty bloke with a short stride, thongs, short stumpy guy?

"YES," said the City fellow, that is them.

Got them by the Balls is a City Boys expression.  But in the outback it applies just as well.  Image by Siarhei Haurylic
Got them by the Balls is a City Boys expression. But in the outback it applies just as well. Image by Siarhei Haurylic

George and the Bushman sculled their beers and again sat silently but with a knowing wink that said: "We got him by the balls."

When the second beer arrived, The bush tracker said: "If you head back to where you turned off the highway to get to this pub, turn left, about two miles along you will see an old truck tire that is a marker for a dirt track that leads to the river."

The Bush tracker sipped his beer and continued "Your pals will be camped a few hundred yards down that track."

The grateful City fellow thanked them and returned to his car and drove off in the indicated direction.

George turned to his Bush tracking mate and asked, "Was he looking for the two fellows that were here earlier looking for a fishing spot? I still have the map they gave me in my pocket that we were supposed to give to that City, Town fellow."

Then George turned toward the old bushman and Asked
"Since when were you ever a Bush tracker?"

"I tracked us six beers this morning, George."


Rules For Survival

I was travelling quite well when I heard a ‘pop’. I felt an instant wobble in the steering, and I slowly ground to a halt. Bugger! I never had a spare wheel!.

All Australians are educated from early childhood with rules like “don’t go wandering off “ or “If lost stay where you are”. These rules sprung instantly to mind. Australians Survive in Harsh situations

I did have a flask of water. It was a cool day, and the thought of dehydration did occur to me, but it was not as if it was a 45-degree day, so I never panicked.

Knowing the local country is always high priority consideration in the art of survival. To be entirely truthful, I must confess that the trees and the local shrubs at this location did look a little different, a bit peculiar. I never knew this country.

I recall old-timers telling me that every different landscape holds its own perils. I decided I stayed where I was. (the right thing to do).

It was sometime later when I heard the distant sound of an engine. My excitement rose, and although I could not tell if it was the sound of a motorbike or even a helicopter. I sprang into action. I removed the tire from my front wheel, gathered a few leaves and started a fire.

In less than ten minutes, I had created a substantial plume of black smoke (visible for miles). (this was a well-tested outback survival trick that I had learned over my bush survival training ).

It was not long after when the black smoke plume had easily identified my location that a lone policeman peddled toward me and parked his bicycle next to mine.

This ‘London ‘Bobby’ pulled out a notebook and said in a strong English (Cockney) accent.

“It is against the law to light fires in Hyde Park London”.

image by Siarhei Haurylic
image by Siarhei Haurylic

© 2020 Pat Davis


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