Wednesday, 2 August 2017
THE FIRST DINGO by LIONEL HUDSON
THE FIRST DINGO
From Dingoes Don’t Bark by Lionel Hudson*
First to stir was the twig-thin warrigal.
eyes closed, moving from memory, she edged between the
Paddle and sleeping woman.
she helped herself to a sagging breast ... tawny fur soft
on burnt brown skin.
first light caught the stone axe cuts of the dugout
canoe, and the woman woke.
she brushed away the pup and reached for her limp baby.
the pain came as she forced open her salt-caked eyes,
but then they were wide with fear. Her cry from cracked
lips woke the man in the canoe.
Together they stared at their new, strange land.
the grip on his spear tightened. Her free hand reached
for the pup. Fear of the unknown trickled strength into
their wasted bodies.
they stumbled up the beach to hide in the tumble of rude
no new enemy here - neither man nor animal. How were they
to know they were the first humans on this stretch of the
seven times the sun had slid out of the sea ahead of
them as they drifted from the crowded other land where
people were hungry.
this time the sun was coming out of the land itself
the pup was first to find sweet water in a rock
hole. Soon the woman was gathering, the man
game was easy to kill. Curious, lethargic. They
had never been hunted.
the smoke told them more humans had come to this
the child found a mate; but not so the lonely
the worrying warrigal hunted, aching for one of
her own kind.
at night the howl went up to be answered by bush
at last the howling was joined in the distance.
The first bitch trembled.
Lionel Hudson was a journalist, author and film maker. He was also passionate about dingoes and kept a Dingo called Noxious (illegally) at his Sydney Home in the early 1970s. He met Berenice Walters in 1975 and introduced her to Fred Wirrer who had Cornelius, the father of Berenice’s first litter of dingo pups.