Please read author notes at the bottom of chapter 1 for a brief rundown on book 1 as this is a continuation.
End Of Chapter 1
And what have you done to the clothes I gave you. They were from the same man as the ones you threw away when I picked you up… he’ll be as naked as you two.”
“I didn’t like the sleeves or legs, and I hate shoes,” I said.
“You really are a feral… so that’s what I’ll call you, as a nickname… Feral,” mum said, smiling.
“What’s a feral?”
“Someone or something that escapes a domestic life and conquers life in the wild. One who can’t be tamed or controlled. A survivor.”
“Cool… I like that! Walu Feral… that rocks!” I said, with excitement.
“Now, come inside, please. I want to talk to you about your new brothers, they’ll be back from their holiday tomorrow, with your new step-father.”
Brothers? Step-father?… nobody said anything about a step-father.
Stepfather, siblings and dogs
Michelle and I waited until mum went to bed before going out to the backyard to sleep. She was insistent that we sleep in the big, comfortable beds she’d set up for us. But, being under a roof, and between walls, was so foreign to us that neither of us could sleep. Funnily, Michelle resembled a Mars Bar with her little body and dark skin nestled against the crisp white sheets.
“Walu, when are we going home? I miss mama,” she quietly said, obviously not understanding what her mother’s death meant.
Unsure how to respond, I just hugged her.
In the cool of night, outdoors, she wanted a fire lit, which would feel more like home, in the desert, and I must admit that I did as well. After burning mum’s grass, the day before, when I cooked one of her pet chickens I thought better of it. I planned to talk to her about it in the morning and see what could be worked out.
The morning sun, in the coastal town of Port Hedland, brings in immense humidity as it warms the earth, far more than it did in the desert. Sleeping in the humidity, on the back lawn, made our clothes wet as if it had been raining. We woke early as it was uncomfortable to sleep late.
As we rose for another day in the strange town, a car drove up the driveway and we could hear the dog’s yapping. The barking reminded me of Ben, the pup that the old man murdered when I was ten-years-old.
“Mujra (dingoes),” Michelle whispered.
“I think not, little one.”
We went inside the house as mum opened the front door. Five little chihuahuas ran through her legs and one, perhaps the leader of the pack, ran straight at me and latched its needle-like teeth onto my heel.
“Hoy! Ouch!” I yelled, pushing Michelle behind me, out of harm’s way.
“Sally, stop that,” mum said.
Instinctively, I grabbed the rat-like animal by the back of the neck and bit it on the leg, as it had done to me. Sally, the rat-dog, screeched, and I put it back on the floor.
“Don’t bite my dog, Feral,” mum laughed, as it ran between her legs for safety. “I’ve never seen a person bite a dog before, you are full of surprises.”
“Nasty little beast, that one,” I replied, spitting hair out of my mouth.
“Crikey! Better watch this bloke,” came the voice from a well built, young man, standing in the doorway, “he bites.”
It bit me first,
I watched two more teenaged boys walk through the door.
“Hey, you’re white,” the youngest said.
I am not! I’m a Nyamal man.
“He just looks white,” mum said, “he’s blacker than you are, he’s a real tribesman… he’s undergone the Nyamal lore. Plus, he just tried to eat Sally,” she laughed.
I did not… she bit me first! What kind of a name for a rat-dog is Sally, anyway?
“Go and put your camping things away and get cleaned up so we can sit down and you guys can get to know each other,” mum instructed.
After bathing, they returned and sat on the lounge-room couch and chairs, while Michelle and I sat on the floor, as was our want.
“So, I heard mum call you Feral, is that your name?” the oldest asked.
It is from now on.
“Yeah, Walu Feral.”
“Mine’s Roger, I’m twenty-years-old, and I’m the handsome one. These two ugly buggers are, Donny, he’s fourteen-years-old and Philip, who’s twelve,” he said, pointing to each in turn.
“Hi, this is Michelle,” I said, rubbing her head.
“You have been living on our tribal land, mum told us,” Roger said. “Wish we were, but mum’s been living here, in town, since before we were born, so we’re townies. I like it out there in the desert though.”
“Yeah, me too,” I responded.
After an uncomfortable silence, mum asked them to go feed and water the pets outside, while she took care of the dogs.
“Mum,” came a concerned yell… “one of the chickens is missing, your favourite one, Henrietta.”
“Yeah, I know… Feral ate her yesterday.”
Chickens aren’t pets! They’re food.
“Yuck, fancy eatin’ a pet chook… that’s disgusting,” came the reply, “No wonder you called him feral.”
But, they’re… sheesh!
I raised an eyebrow to Michelle, who still couldn’t understand much English at that stage. She smiled.
Dan, Doris’ husband, a solidly built Nyamal man, who’d been outside doing something to his car, appeared for the first time.
“G’day, I’m Dan,” he said. “You’re whiter than I thought you’d be.”
I am not, I’m blacker than you… ask mum!
“Hi, I’m Walu Feral, and this is Michelle.”
“Do you eat fish?” Dan asked. “We caught heaps when we were camping, we brought some back.”
Yeah, those ones in the pond, in the backyard, look pretty good.
“Good, I’ll get the old girl to cook us up a feed,” he said, leaving the room.
Scary visions of my violent childhood, at the hands of two drunks, flew into my head as he returned with two cans of beer.
“Here, mate, have a beer.”
“Dan!” mum yelled from the kitchen. “Don’t you dare give that boy any beer… I don’t want him to end up like you!”
NYAMAL: The Australian aboriginal tribe who found me in the cave, adopted me and saved my life.
Walu: My tribal name. But, mum mostly called me Feral.
Uncle Ronny: Nyamal tribal chief.
Michelle: Little girl who I had become a surrogate father to after her mother died.
Mum-Doris (Mum): A Nyamal woman who lived in Port Hedland. She adopted me at 17yo after the Nyamal tribe was forced from the land into the town.
Helen-Rose: My Nyamal girlfriend, who was taken to a different location when they forced us off our land.
John: Mum’s husband. My new foster father
Rodney: Doris and John’s eldest son. My foster brother.
Damian: Middle foster brother.
Philip: Youngest foster brother.
Sally: One of mum’s five chihuahuas. I called them rat-dogs because they look like big-eyed rats.
© 2020, Walu Feral. All rights reserved.
I am an Australian living in the Philippines with my beautiful wife, Delia, our eleven-year-old daughter and her four older brothers who were surviving in a rubbish dump until we adopted them and gave them a home.
I didn’t begin to learn how to read or write until I was nineteen-years-old after running away from an abusive childhood at fourteen and living with the Nyamal aboriginal tribe in a Western Australian desert for five years. I’m so grateful that I did learn because now I have two published books and never stop writing.
- 2020.02.06Book Chapters-NonfictionThe One They Call Feral: Book 2, Chapter 4-The Explanation
- 2020.01.31Book Chapters-NonfictionThe One They Call Feral: Book 2, Chapter 3-A Strange Day
- 2020.01.23Book Chapters-NonfictionThe One They Call Feral: Book 2, Chapter 2-Stepfather, Siblings and Dogs
- 2020.01.20UncategorizedNew Reviewing Points System = Free Membership