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 2
“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!”
Mum, now resigned to the fact that Michelle and I were going to sleep in the backyard, bought a fire-pit. We could now have firelight, somewhere to cook and not burn her beautiful lawn again.
The rat-dogs slept inside the house and continued to bark all through most nights. I was happy they weren’t put outside, as Sally, the leader, would probably bite me again, or worse… Michelle.
We had been in town for about two weeks and settled in reasonably well. There was a wild, bushy, area that backed onto mum’s fence and led down to a creek. She allowed me to tear a section of the fence away so we could access the wild area to hunt and fish in the clear, wide, saltwater creek.
In the silence of the early morning, I held my trusty (useless), spear ready to sink into a large Barramundi (fish) as it swam near the bank of the creek searching for crustaceans.
I had seen a big fish jump out of the water an hour earlier and I threw in some chicken pellets, which Roger said would attract them. Patiently, Michelle and I sat, watched, and waited for the ripples in the water to alert us that our breakfast was nearby.
The little girl didn’t voice her excitement, but I could sense it, as she watched with her beautiful big baby eyes. I imagined the aroma of seafood cooking on the coals and the tasty, sweet meat of one of Australia’s prized native fish.
Before too long, the tell-tell ripples appeared. I, Walu Feral, the Nyamal super-hunter, stealthily approached my quarry. Leaning into the throwing position, as the tribal elders had so painstakingly taught me, I readied to throw my spear.
“Feral,” came mum’s screeching voice from the fence line. Birds flew in panic at the sudden sound. I jumped, in turn causing our breakfast to live another day as it swam away.
Sheesh! Hunting around here is going to be tough for a useless hunter like me, with that racket going on.
“Uncle Ronny’s here,” she said.
I turned and ran towards the fence, then back-peddled when I realised I’d left Michelle standing at the creek bank.
“Sorry, kid,” I said, as I picked her up, put her on my shoulders, and ran to the house.
In the centre of the lounge-room stood my hero, the chief of the Nyamal tribe, Uncle Ronny. He looked like a giant sausage wrapped in bacon, in the white man’s clothes he wore. Gone was the loincloth and ochre painted, muscular body, of this fearless warrior… now, replaced by a brown, long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of blue jeans that looked like they’d been spray-painted onto him.
What the hell have they done to you, Uncle? You look ridiculous. I’m so sorry.
“Uncle Ronny, how are you, Sir. You look great,” I stuttered.
“I’m fine, Walu. How are you and Michelle coping here?”
“It’s okay, it doesn’t feel like home though, and Michelle has stopped talking again. She only asks when we are going back home, to the desert so she can see her mother again when she does talk.”
“You need help with her, Walu, she’s young and so are you.”
“Yes, uncle, do you know where Helen-Rose is? She’ll come and help, Michelle loves her and so do I. We miss her.”
I could feel my lip tremble, as Michelle quietly said, “Wose,” which at two-years-old, was what she called her.
Uncle Ronny twitched and shifted uncomfortably in his sausage outfit, as I motioned to the floor and the three of us sat on the tiles.
“No, my boy, nothing has been said about where she, or the rest of the tribe, went. I’m sorry.”
“Where are you living, uncle?”
“That is why I am here. I was living from house to house, but there are too many of us for the number of houses and family’s that can take us in. So, I decided that I must sacrifice my bed for someone younger so they can have a life. I am old, and my time has finished. I will live on the street with some of the other elders until our spirits pass on to the great ancestors in the sky.”
“No, uncle, please stay in the yard, here, with Michelle and I. Mum won’t mind. I’m sure she’ll be proud to have you. Just expect her to lecture you when you go to sleep in the yard… she did us, and she will you too. Oh, and a loincloth is out of the question, she hates them, but I’ll cut your shirt sleeves and pants legs off, so you’ll be a bit more comfortable.” I laughed. “Please accept my offer, my chief.”
“Walu, ask Doris first. If she agrees, I’ll stay. Thank you.”
Mum agreed, but, made us promise to help her sons, my new brothers, to learn our… her, Nyamal culture… We agreed.
Uncle Ronny’s massive black nostrils flared in anger as he rose like a mountain, when Dan, my new step-father, walked through the door.
“I see you are still around after what you did, Dan. I told you to leave the Nyamal country or you will suffer tribal punishment. Again, you have disobeyed. You will not survive it,” Uncle Ronny said.
Dan, without speaking, turned and fled to his car then sped away. I stood wondering what had just happened… how such a happy moment could turn bad, so quickly.
“I am sorry Doris, I know he is your husband, but, it must happen, tribal lore must be obeyed,” the chief said.
“Yes, I know,” mum replied. “It is what it is.”
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.
Dan: Mum’s husband. My new foster father
Rodney: Doris and John’s eldest son. My foster brother.
Donny: 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