The Riddle

Long after the others limped off to bed, I harassed my cousin with questions.

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Water Release

Dad stopped the Rover and then stepped out. ‘I think I saw something.’
MB leaned over the edge of the roof. ‘What’s he doing?’
I shrugged. ‘Beat’s me.’
Dad trundled down the patchy road.
My older cousin (C1) jumped down from the roof rack. ‘Oh, he’s got something in his hands.’

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Disappointment at Docker River

We journeyed, with frequent photo stops, through more mulga woodland, the Peterman Ranges making a charming mauve background to the valley of inky limbs holding up the blue-green canopy of leaves. The mountains behind the mulga groves tempted us, the soft breeze whispering through the gullies calling, “Come to us, explore us, see what we have to offer.”

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Upon my return, I noticed Dad tinkering with the pipeline. Good fortune for the cattle, I suppose.
‘Hey, Dad!’ I announced. ‘I found this fantastic water-hole.’

The boys returned.
‘Hey,’ I shouted, ‘Guess what I found!’
C1 galloped ahead and into camp, a grin spread across his bearded face. He ignored my announcement of good fortune. ‘Look what we’ve got?’

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Clear skies this morning, yet the temperature soared; the air thick with flies even at 9:00am. We moped around the campsite like slugs with heat-stroke. My brother sat on his inflatable mattress. He clapped, accumulating a mass-grave of fly corpses. At the other end of the campsite, as far away as possible from the serial fly mass-murderer, I ate my porridge. Every spoonful I took, he made a slap and a body count. What’s that? A raisin? Ugh! Flies congregated on my spoon. I can’t take this anymore.

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