the MORAG & ZOE stories,
Gulpa Creek Community
The Travellers life is one of constant movement, adjusting to all and any possible conditions. As we walked our Forest trails together…Gracie always ahead, bending to pick up fallen treasures….a gum leaf, blue green, with pink and scarlet and a scattering of spots, pointed tip curling. A shining dead beetle, jewel like, poked into her pocket, rabbit tail….white furred fluffiness, the leavings of a fox kill…..a dull spent bullet…
All were lifted, examined, displayed, discussed, pocketed or discarded. Then she would suddenly turn, look at me intently….gone was Gracie….she’d morphed in the turning swish of long hair and swirling skirts, fur edged boots, into Zoe.
“have you checked all the Panniers”??? I’d say, and not missing a beat….”The horses are ready….we’ve enough mushrooms and berries for tonight’s dinner….have you got any herbs”, she’d say.
“Parsley, some wild watercress and onions, and apples I collected from the little house we passed by, this morning”, and satisfied, she’d turn again, leading the way….tossing me a further enquiry over her shoulder.
“How far now till the next Village” and I would say……”Can you see the smoke from fires, way way off in the distance”, and point, to a far away place. “Ahhh, she’d say, smiling, satisfied…..only a few more miles, and we’ll be there…..the horses and mules need resting, the lead horse’s halter needs repairing, and I’d say….”We need meat…. Have we any gemstones left to Trade”???
Patting her pocket with a shrewd little smile, she’d declare there were still a few Turquoise left to spare……then I would catch up with her, take her small hand, smiling.
“Good, we’ll buy some rabbits to cook in our pot, did you remember to sharpen your knife??? We’ll eat well tonight, Rabbit Stew, with apple and berry pie”
Swinging hands together, before she slipped away, running free, we’d talk through the serious business of buying feed for our pack animals, safely tethering them close by our fire…..did we have enough warm blankets for the colder nights???
And away she would run, hair flying out behind, skirts swirling round her slender legs, feet clad in fur trimmed boots, disappearing through the dappled light, beneath the big old Gum Trees……running towards the Village fires, towards the night….
MA© Autumn 2018
To be Continued