Bullgoose: Wes gets cocky, corners a goanna and has to handle it

Chez Piddens.

A rude awakening for Alice Piddens

Yaaaaaark! Yaaaaaark!

Dirty homing cockatoos!



More silence

Yaaaaaark! Yaaaaaark!

Dirty homing cockatoos!

Alice springs from bed to window.

Wes! Wes! Stop that alfresco commotion.




OK, OK. Coming.

Yaaaaaark! Yaaaaaark!

(Sound of fist shaking)

Enter Wes, toting shotgun.

I swear I recognize that big, haughty bugger. Comb all skew-whiff. Swaggers about like Jack Sparrow.


He’s a homing cockatoo. Keeps coming back here, bringing more of his mates. I can’t abide a homing cockatoo, Allie!

Come and get me Alice.

Well I can’t abide all that booming racket. They’re not scared of it anyway.

I just want a bucket of pecans. Is that asking too much?

They’re too smart for you. We’ll never get any nuts until you net the trees.

Perhaps nut.


(Sighs) A plucky attempt at humour. (Cleans gun)

And another thing, Wes.


I thought you were some sort of baseball prodigy in your distant youth.

(Wes brightens) I had my moments. Batter up! Puh-lay ball! (sings) Rah dah dah dump-ty daah!

Rumpty what?

Rah dah dah dump-ty daah! That’s the tune they play. Great game. Alarming knickerbockery, soxy uniform, but fast. Makes cricket look like dripping stalactites.

I thought all you gifted “atha-letes” had superb hand-eye coordination.

Yeah, so?

So how come you can’t get your used dental floss to go in the rubbish basket. The under-basin area is looking like Santa’s spider web grotto.

Look, Allie, I can’t be tarrying round here dodging the swivelling turret of your castigation cannon. I’ve gotta be off to Bat Whiffy’s.

Bat Whiffy’s?

Yep. He wants a hand to relocate a goanna.

You promised to clean the windows today.

It’s animal welfare. Gotta go. (Whistles dog.) Come on, Barkis, hop up mate.

Bat Whiffen’s spread, Bingeebeebra Creek.

Basically, Bat was a rustic, gainfully-employed non-feral hippie living high on a hog of bananas, custard apples and saltwater fish.

Jingella, Wes! Have a banana.

Bat wasn’t First Nations, but he grew up in La Perouse and took to the Bundjalung language like Pythagoras to maths.

Jingella right back at you, Batso. How you been?

A bit ordinary last week with a deadly killer terminal flu, but I had a bit of calf penicillin in the fridge and gave myself a shot.


Improved straight away, but those calf needles are pretty damn thick. (Displays massive bruise on upper arm). Little bit tender.

You’re mad.

Anyway, how are you on goanna wrangling, Wes?

Gotta be honest. Haven’t done much, Bat.

Well, I’ve got to do something. Critical crisis here. This goanna has been going through my chooks and eggs like bloody Putin on crystal meth. I haven’t had a soft-boiled googy with soldiers in yonks.

 Bit tragic.

And I’m getting the reproachful side-eye from the surviving hens.

How can you tell?

Tell what?

About the side-eye. I mean chooks’ eyes are in the side of their head anyway.

I can tell.

Fair enough. What’s the plan?

Well, he’s holed up under the house at present, full of eggs and drumsticks and feathers and giblets etc, so he’s half sluggish, which is to our advantage.

I am anything but sluggish.

Half sluggish trumps no sluggish.

So, we rush him with this, (displays hessian potato sack) and roll him up. Savvy?


His claws’ll snag up in the hessian. Then we twitch it all up with this wire, so he can’t wriggle out, and we fashion a handy wire carrying handle for the sake of convenience.

Right. Well I’ve brought my goanna dog to help herd him.

(Bat eyes Barkis, a big, adolescent unit with a head the size of Mongolia) He really works goannas?

Nah, but he’ll lick us better if we get scratched up.

And so, we are three. Let’s ride!

On all fours, dodging house stumps and hippie debris, men, dog and potato sack bluffed and badgered the goanna towards the back corner, where the house was set into the hillside.

The men ran out of headroom.

Go yourself, Barkis!

Barkis was having rare fun herding, pawing and growling until the goanna put a claw though his ear. He didn’t like it much. He shook his head furiously, spraying the party with blood. This amused and distracted the goanna long enough for the men to execute a ‘pincer crash tackle’, snig him out and truss him up like some sort of gift-wrapped presentation hessian hot dog with handy carrying handle.

Hand/paw shakes all round.

Where’s he going now, Bat?

I’ll give him his freedom in the National Park. Sixteen km away. That oughta do it.

Nice. OK, we’re off.

Jingella! (brandishes goanna conveniently)

Two weeks later.

Wes! Phone!

Who is it?

Bat Whiffy.

Hey Bat.

He’s back!

Grrrr! I can’t abide a homing goanna. OK, on my way.

A lesson to us all.


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