The Dingos

I remember as a teenager, taking long solitary walks through the forests the forests around Darwin. They were high canopied belts of trees and vine that sat between the suburbs and the beaches. In the Wet Season, their natural canals would fill with water and the expectation of wildlife was always prescient. Wallabies would thump away at sound of my approach and there was said to be Children's Pythons in the trees, camoflaged emerald green.
I had grown used to walking there and become blase about the possibilty of any encounters with animals. I had seen dolphins and dugong cruising in the waters at their edge and had startled long black snake in the grasses and all were in a hurry to get away from me. So it was with massive surprise that one afternoon, in middle of the Dry, I rounded a large rouding a large tree and there on the cool red dirt, lay a moter dingo suckling two pups, all oblivious to my presence, too tired from the heat to notice. I jolted to a standstill, stared and marvelled. They didn't flinch or seem to register me at all. I stared for as long as i dared and then quietly as possible stepped back behind the tree. I held my breath and stole silently back around to see them again, but just as silently, or truthfully, even quieter, the mother and her pups and slipped away without the slightest sound, suddenly savvy to my presence. That wonderful sight and a stunning wild animal intelligence to conceal and retreat from humans will stay with me forever.

BEn Foley-jones
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