SPOTLIGHTING  -  page 67


As the evening drew closer the wind rose, blowing away the baking heat of the afternoon. Luckily she had brought her oilskin coat with her, it would save her from freezing later on. She didn’t want to clamber about on the rocks with her brother or to hunt for rare plants and animals with the two crazy greenies. She spread her coat in the shade of a huge gum tree.

She lay sideways. The seed

heads of kangaroo-grass

tussocks swayed

in front of

her eyes.

They framed a spectacular view - across the clearing, over the river-valley in which the town lay and across to the distant, hazy mountains of the great dividing range.

There was no sound of cars, planes or other human activity, but it was far from silent. The wind gently swayed the branches of the the trees above her, making a whooshing sound that rose and fell like ocean waves. She could hear the calls of at least eight different types of birds; from the sweet ringing notes of bellbirds to the harsh wails of a flock of black cockatoos.

The flies didn’t bother her but buzzed past noisily. A butterfly landed on her wrist and sat there for a minute,