A journey of discovery…

Entry 2 – Sunday, April 18th 1982

The gnarled old tree branch was unbelievably heavy, my cheeks, red, puffed out with effort as I strain against its weight. We had been moving debris and branches onto a pile all morning, but this one refused to move.

“Come on lad, it isn’t even that big!” teased Pa as he came over to give me a hand. But despite himself, he was unable to move it. “Bloody hell, she’s a tough one!” he said incredulously. His brow furrowed with confusion. “I’ll get the chainsaw and we’ll cut it up mate. Just wait here.”

Pa began walking back up the hill towards the house. I look down at the log, its rough bark, peeling, leaving a smooth silvery grey behind, like new skin. Then I notice something. It is as if a hole has been burnt in the branch. The edges are singed, but clean, as though sanded carefully. The hole was pretty large, about the size of my fist. I peer through it in wonder. What could have caused this I think to myself? Lighting?

Suddenly, I see something scuttle across the dirt under the branch. I jump back in alarm. The skin prickles on the back of my neck and starts to itch. Working up my courage, I cautiously look under it… nothing but dirt. Hmmm, that’s very odd. I hear the shed door closing, Pa is on his way back. I quickly steal a look through the hole again and feel my eyes widen with curiosity. There it is again! It looks furry, and has a stalk coming out of its body. Kind of like a snail’s eyestalk. It has…

BWWVVMMMM! My body jolted as Pa started the chainsaw.

“Stand back Darwin!” he calls over the mechanical noise.

“Wait Pa! There’s something special about it!” I shout out in panic. “Please wait!”

The chainsaw spluttered to a halt and Pa looked at me suspiciously.

“What do you mean its special?” he asks with interest, his bushy eyebrows raised.

I think to myself quickly, I can’t tell him. I’ll sound crazier than a possum on a hot tin roof!

“Umm, nothing.” I stammer. “It was nothing… I just like the patterns in the bark.” I lied.

Pa didn’t believe me. “What on earth are you talking about Darwin? Move please, so I can get this done before the rain starts again.”

I look to the sky and see ominous clouds, bloated with rain, blotting out the sun.

“Darwin. Move mate!” Pa is getting frustrated. I need to tell him what I saw… SPLAT! A cool, drop of water hits me on the cheek, etching a clean path down my grime streaked face. Could it be? Yes! SPLAT! Another droplet, and then another and another. Within seconds, it is bucketing down and Pa is rushing back up the hill, chainsaw in hand.

“Thanks a lot Darwin! Now we have to wait ‘til the rain stops!” he complained over his shoulder. I feel myself relax as I watch him go, turning my attention back to the hole in the tree…

My jaw drops at what I see… this was going to be the start of something big! I thought as I rushed into my room. Grabbing my sketch book, I started to draw.

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