Friday, January 25, 2008
dancing with dingoes
There was much activity on the beach throughout last night, it was a full moon after all, and I know how it shone on that hard white sand. How it shone on the twitching stick-eyed lunar crabs and the silvered grasses on the dunes.
In the early morning you could see trails of pawmarks, large and small, see them clearly, a network of tracks.
In summers past I have seen dingoes at dusk trot silent and demure along the edge of the dunes, becoming invisible and fading into the landscape as I watch. It seems that the pack has grown, and celebrates its own existence. One dingo girl, with rusty flanks, comes to the edge of the shadows and her form bleeds into the very air: she comes when we dream, and her pup chews our shoes. My own cubs slumber in their membrane of silk, unseeing. The rusty one pays them no attention at all.
But here, this morning, as evidence of their joyful dancing, these looping trails tell me something more: that their paws swung round a wild arc, spraying sand with the impetus of their heavy flung bodies, feet driven into the sand deep and angled. Circles, running, one way and then the other.
Over and over.
It must be the moon, coming down in floods.
I’m told they don’t hunt in packs, and that this lot are the most genetically pure in NSW, which I suppose is a good thing. But I do know they have eaten all the brush turkeys, and those kangas, whose mythical leaps over low lying tents have entertained us folk for years, have been driven away or eaten. Only that mob living up the way in the paddock full of Belted Galloways seem to remain, protected perhaps, by the Belties. Dingoes don’t go near cows, it seems.
Last night, beneath that splendid moon, with only the faintest of yips, those dingoes danced wild circles, white sand flew up in plumes and scattered the ghost crabs, and not far away was I, with a headful of moon and the drumming of surf,
dreaming, as I do always, of you. How can I help it? In the face of such a moon as this?
Tis just for an instant: the tide comes in at dawn, and as I watch, smooths all signs of dancing away.