One Old Man and One Old Kangaroo - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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One Old Man and One Old Kangaroo

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

Once upon time when my kids were small and we just moved to a farm we have found an abandoned joey.

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His mum threw him out her pouch after she was hit by a car in her desperate last attempt to save him.

We found him and raised him. It was a good lesson for my children to take turns to feed him every four hours a special, marsupial milk we had to buy from the Noah Arch wildlife shelter. We had little money to spare so kids kept saving their pocket money so our little joey could live. I was warned by the Noah Arch’s volunteers not to keep joey too long to become too domesticated and infused with human smell that wild kangaroos might find too threatening to welcome him back.

It was bittersweet experience for us to see him go. We all cried tears of loss but also tears of happiness seeing him to be free again.

Time went on and my kids grew up moving to cities to live more comfortable life and expand their carriers. I stayed on the old farm looking after the bush and organic orchards while my old kangaroo watched me from the nearby bush. The abandoned injured dingo we have found up the north that become our farm dog watched him cautiously and my big ‘roo’ was equally wary, both of them smart enough to keep their distance.

One early morning I heard shooting and rushed to the fence where my old ‘roo’ lied in a pool of blood.

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The bullet shattered the bone in his hind leg.

When I enquired about the shooting the old farmer who stood there proud of his catch and his rifle still propped against his waist pointed angrily at the fence: “Damaged it bastard, will cost me now to repair it, bloody nuisance these kangaroos digging under fences and eating roots of my grass. What my cattle supposed to eat? You tell me!”

Kangaroos were here before even Aboriginals moved in 40,000 years back.” I sighed nursing my kangaroo’s leg.

He continued: “I am a proud white Australian, my family farmed this land for hundreds years. They need it to survive in this harsh environment and anything that stood in their survival, be it these bloody kangaroos or those hopers Aboriginals who never learnt to make profit from this land, had to go. It is the way it is.”

I ignored him trying to save my kangaroo but my silence made him more adamant to say more.

I know where you from and you can be lucky to be allowed to live here and look after other people’s farm, I tell you that, very lucky. Your father was refugee, wasn’t he?”

I am a migrant and Australia allowed me to settle here only because I had two universities with seek after qualifications to be useful and with young children to rise your population but yes my father was a refugee and it is shameful what Australia does to their boat people who try to reach the safety of its shores.”

He smirked: “Refugees deserve their fate and Australia is right to let their boats sink or lock them up in Indonesia so they learn they can only come the right way as you have done.”

My father had no papers on him when he nearly drowned trying to swim across the border to the safety while communists were shooting at him. It was matter of death or life to him. There was no time to wait for the Australian stamp of approval to let him in and without him I would not be here or alive either.”

Life is tough my dear, all we can do is to try to survive and you do not survive by being sentimental. This land prospered because we worked hard, us true blue Australians and we made profit. You have to be proud of who you are and defend your country against anyone who is in your way to make a profit, simple as that.”

With these partying words he turned his back on me and fortunately his rifle too and our conversation was finished in his eyes. It was Sunday and time to rush to his community church to pray to God for a good profit on farm and help his fellow worshippers who he feels are worthy of his help. He considers himself a good kind man who look after his family and his farm and his country. On Monday he will go back to his spraying routine to make grass grow faster with the help of chemicals so his cattle can grow fatter faster and he makes good profit. That is what life is about, no?

I have buried my old kangaroo .

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There was nothing else left to do just to continue to attend to my organic garden.

I end up brushing away the chemical droplets that blew across the fence in sudden wind. Back in the safety of my old farm cottage I brushed dust from the old frame that hold a picture of joey with one of my daughters and suddenly realized that it is the only photo I have of him. Maybe it is the best that way. It was the time when joey was young and kindness was still around us, it seemed to me.

One has to learn to appreciate everything even the pain

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It is the pain we deserve for wanting so much from nature and giving back nothing or only death.

. I wanted to ask my neighbour where and when in that sudden pursuit of national pride and profit making at any cost one can cross that invisible border from kindness to unkindness? Do we even realise when we cross the line and what will be the cost of crossing it to all of us?

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 20, 2019:

Very touching. Well presented. Thanks.

Christopher Hoffman on November 09, 2019:

If the man is white his ancestors came from Europe to Australia at some point in time, whether as a refugee , immigrant or maybe even a prisoner.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on November 08, 2019:

Shauna L Bowling, RBJ33, Ann Carr, John Hansen, Ruby Jean Richert, my dear fellow hubbers I need your voice on twitter, I have been verbally abused recently on twitter by so called the right Australians who are the only one with the right to say who is true Australians. My right to voice my opinion about the future of Australia was questioned, my level of English was questioned and my background was questioned. I would very much appreciate if you can give me voice I apparently lack and explain to @Mattas09

on twitter that my level of English is sufficient to voice my opinions and worries about future of Australia online. I would very much appreciate your voice as apparently mine does not count. Thank you so much for your voice, I need on right now...

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on November 05, 2019:

Thank you so much Shauna, there are still humans who possess empathy and conscience like you so I believe we are still safe from the worst:)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 30, 2019:

Beata, I really don't understand how some people can be so cold, judgmental and ruthless! Your farmer neighbor actually thinks he's in the right. He also seems to think that only Austrailian born folk have to right to live there.

I hate that he killed your sweet joey. Even after you set him free, he stayed close by. You and your kids were "mom" for a while, nurturing him to health. He remembered that and gave back to you what you gave him.

Doesn't your ignorant neighbor realize that the poison he's putting on his grass will eventually kill everything and everyone? He had no need to put a bullet in your sweet joey. He puts a bullet in our earth and society every time he sprays his land.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 14, 2019:

Thank you my fellow hubbers, they say thinking is difficult therefore most people judge and in that judgement spread harm and unkindness let us all KEEP THINKING and make good judgment about our future and us in it...

RBJ33 on October 14, 2019:

Timely story - true yesterday and true today. Prejudice and ignorance abound. Doesn't have to be that way.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 12, 2019:

Thank you Ann I truly appreciate your comment, it gives me hope in humanity and us, hopefully it is not too late...one can only hope for the sake of our children...

Ann Carr from SW England on October 12, 2019:

What a sad and awful story, Beata. I don't understand why anyone would want to act like that farmer. It must have been heartbreaking to have cared for him and then have that happen.

It's a good example of why we should care and appreciate everything, be it human or animal or plant. We really need to do our own bit against those attitudes, against pollution; that's the only way anything will improve. Maybe, sadly, it is already too late - but that doesn't mean we give up!

Great hub!

Ann

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 11, 2019:

Thank you so much my fellow hubbers I wrote that story so the senseless death of my kangaroo would make any sense to me I guess. People say, just one kangaroo who cares and I say just polluted soil we have on our planet earth now more than the healthy one. Who cares? I say polluted rivers we have even in the places high up in the mountains like New Zealand we all consider the cleanest places on earth, who cares? I guess the time comes we will all be forced to care and that is sad truth.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 11, 2019:

What a heartbreaking story, Beata. You reveal many sad truths here that many people unfortunately think like that unkind farmer. I have lived in the country for years with many kangaroos and wallabies grazing happily on our property. They are wonderful animals, and yes here’s long before man. How sad it must have been for you to lose Joey. Lucky he didn’t shoot your dingo too, I guess.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 11, 2019:

Oh my, my heart goes out to you. How can anyone treat an animal so badly? Many who are cruel will get an awakening some day when they meet our maker. Love is the key to happiness. Thank you for sharing your story.