We don’t choose life, life chooses us.
The journey to Flat Iron Lake would not see us back at camp until after nightfall.
Gathering ample supplies plus fishing rods and lures, I saddled up my white Arabian stallion, Pegasus, named after the son of Greek mythological Medusa and Poseidon.
He puffed in excited anticipation for the days adventure whilst I equipped his panther saddle. The heat of Pegasus’ breath created moisture on my skin from nuzzling the palm of my hand with his muzzle as I was feeding him his favourite morning snack of Wild carrots.
A quick smoko by the fire side before we take off, and I suspiciously announce,
“Ay, I don’t think Rockstar is this blokes real name.”
Benson shrugs ambivalently and we go on to further speculate that Mr Rockstar is probably an alias for safety reasons and we decide not to hold it against him, anyways he more than likely had an inkling that Candy Licious and Benson were not our real names either. We figured all that matters is, he got what he wanted and so did we. Gold proves more valuable than currency when travelling, and we would require a fair amount of it to make our travels back over the seas to Our Southern home land, Australia.
I puff the last of my cigarette and flick the remains into the fire, watching it crack and spark as I sip my freshly brewed coffee. Delightfully the liquid warms my throat but I still find my taste buds crave the sweet flavour of tea from back home.
Tea is not as popular as coffee around here, but they say beggars can’t be choosers, I’m satisfied to just have a warm drink and I nod to the UniVerse in gratitude, swallowing the rest of my coffee allowing it to warm me from the inside out.
Even though the sun was now above the horizon and shining brightly the temperature was still fairly low.
It doesn’t sound like much but, Australian temperatures are approximately 10 degrees warmer than here, it took quite some time for my body to adapt to the cooler climates.
Coffee was a great way to remedy the low temperatures and thankfully, the friendly Blackwater tailor offered me a great deal on a snake skin Hunters jacket that he said would look perfect on me, and it has proved to be a very worthy investment indeed.
The last thing to collect before departure is the weaponry. Yes in this area weaponry is a requirement for a fishing trip.
I’m not sure if it’s the difference in temperature but there’s some large creatures in this neck of the woods that require the heavy artillery, I highly recommend the bolt action rifle and split point rounds.
If a Bear or a Cougar comes at you, you want to hit that sweet spot right between the eyes.
Another thing I had to quickly accustom myself to were large, carnivorous creatures, even though Australian animals are strange and venomous, none of them are capable of hunting humans.
In fact, the closest animal to a Cougar or a wolf that occupies the Australian landscape would be Thylacinus CYNOCEPHALUS, or Tasmanian Tiger, which, to be honest, is extremely rare and actually nothing like a tiger at all being a Marsupial mammal. The animals Latin name, Thylacinus means pouch or sack, in reference to how these animals gestate their young.
Thylacinus CYNOCEPHALUS, John Gould, 1863
Originally abundant across the Mainland, the animal was hunted to near extinction, even before my birth in 1862, with the majority of numbers now found in Tasmania.
Personally lacking the belief in the rumours of complete extinction yet, like many other Australians, these elusive marsupials are extremely capable of keeping their distance from our species.
However it can be common to wake to find your fox-proof chicken coop has been tampered with and all your chickens have disappeared.
No other animal gets in and out of a coop with zero evidence like a Thylacinus, a smile of amusement washes over my face, it’s as if he can just open the door to enter, he slaughters and gathers your chickens in complete silence, then politely closes the door as he leaves.
Aboriginals Rock paintings Thylacinus CYNOCEPHALUS
Almost everyone knows the handy work of the marsupial tiger but one would consider themselves lucky to get a glimpse of the perpetrator.
Which is probably why the Tasmanian tiger is currently on the hunted list, my smile quickly turns to a foreboding frown knowing the Tasmanian government are now offering larger sums for these animals, and it won’t be long until they are in all actuality, gone.
People have to make a buck, we are forced to give someone something they want to ensure our own survival, we don’t choose life, life chooses us.
That thought reminds me to grab the .22 caliber varmint rifle because a perfect raccoon pelt fetches a fine price.
When reaping the rewards of hunting it’s important to understand folks around here are willing to do anything for an easy buck and will try any scam to relieve you of your hunting rewards, in other words beware of low down thieves.
To deal with these hooligans I equip myself with Litchfield repeater because I like to keep my distance from the men I kill, their last expressions have a habit of haunting me, and 2 volcanic pistols for those who force me to get up and personal with them.
With everything gathered and securely stowed on person or horse we took to the track with great speed. The rhythmical sound of the horses hooves pounding into to the earth was soothing my soul and I felt my heart synchronise with the sound, beating in time to each heavy step.
My mind rushing as madly as the wind about my face.
Fishing reminds me of Home....
Fishing Reminds me of my eldest Cousin.....
My Cousin NED KELLY......BushRanger.