Across Continents

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Playing with fire

Almost midnight. Alone in the tent. Solitary pitch. Chilling howls. Unmistakably the sound of a dingo. A wild dog. Unable to bark. Even if you’ve never heard one before you just know. Numbers uncertain. How close I couldn’t tell. Hunting in packs. Circling their prey.

Would they venture into the camp ground? In search of easy pickings? Or too wary of humans? I wasn’t sure. Seemed to remember most attacks were on small children. Often mistaking the feral creatures for a family pet. Sometimes fatally so.

Toyed with how I might deter them if they approached. I’d a field knife. Razor sharp. But a close quarters weapon. Dismissed that option. Didn’t want to get up close and personal. Lighter. Bet the little critters weren’t fire retardant. And the flame might deter. Assuming I didn’t set the tent ablaze in the commotion.

Next morning I met Craig. He lived up on the hill. Dropping down to the camp ground to collect drinking water. Yes, he said, that’d be dingos you’d heard. Definitely. But few had ever seen them. Never ventured off the hills. Hidden amongst the woods and gullies.

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