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Bo-Bo And The Rat Race Down Under
By Paul Francis Mc Cann
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Not rated by the Author.
Two lads on an adventure in Australia
Bo-Bo and Charlie sat in the four wheel drive at the reception of the caravan park .
Danno had gone into the office to check in .
A man with a long hillbilly beard approached and began to talk to Bo-Bo and Charlie .
“How’s it going .“
Charlie replied ,
“We’re going on a holiday .“
The Hill billy fella looked at Charlie and said ,
“Fair dinkum mate. You’ve come to the right place .“
Bo-Bo reached out his hand and introduced himself.
“Nice to meet you . I’m called Bo-Bo and this is Charlie .“
“I know . Danno told me all about you . I’m known as Ocker the Clocker in these parts .“
Danno returned and went over to Ocker and said ,
“G’day Ocker . You all set then for tomorrow.”
“No worries , all ready mate. “.
‘See you at the track then .“
Ocker walked off as Danno got back into the silver four wheel vehicle with three bikes attached on the roof and a caravan in tow.
Danno drove to a spot and reversed the caravan into a small site before unhooking the caravan . Bo-Bo and Charlie then got out and looked around at all their new surroundings .
A couple of young lads on skateboards made their way past followed by two people riding on on horseback . Then a small group of people from various cultures walked past with fishing rods and eskies in their hands .
Bo-Bo looked at Charlie and nodded . Charlie stood there motionless and Danno came over and said .
“I’m so glad that you two could come down under for a visit. So tell me , what do you think of the place so far ?”
Bo-Bo replied ,
“ Will to tell you the truth , it’s the strangest place on earth I’ve ever seen .“
Charlie nodded hid head in agreement .
“It’s like so strange Danno , everything .“
There was a silence for a while .No one spoke a word until suddenly a couple of Kangaroos hopped form the bush and landed right in front of Charlie and Bo-Bo which made Charlie take off in fear .
Danno burst out laughing . Bo-Bo joined in and said ,
“He thinks they’re big rats Danno “
“We better go and get him . He’ll get lost round here . “
Said Danno .
They both went searching for Charlie around the caravan park . It wasn’t long before they heard
Somewhere out in the bushland they could hear a muffled voice crying for help .
Bo-Bo smiled and said ,
He’s not that far away Danno “
They followed the sound of Charlies cries that took them to sandy track and then through the thick bracken to a place where the charcoal trunks of gum trees stood and up there among the branches was Charlie .
“I guess you haven’t seen any of those huge rats . Have you Charlie ?
Charlie replied ,
“I told you Bo-Bo , didn’t I ?
At that moment a young man on a train bike thundered past .
Danno looked up and said
“Come in Charlie climb down and we’ll go and grab a few burgers unless you want to try some of those witchetty grubs that live up in that tree there .“
Charlie let out a high pitched scream and fell to the ground .
“ What’s a witchetty grub Danno? “
Bo-Bo asked .
Danno replied “Its good old Aussie tucker . You’ll soon get used to it mate .“
After we eat some possum stew we can go for walk in the scrub if you like and see some of the Aussie night creatures that live in these parts . I’m telling you there’s no place on earth like it .”
“Sounds great “
“No worries mate .“
Said Danno .
Charlie was still lying on the ground where he had fallen and uttered between deep breathing and shrieking,
“I’ve had enough and I want to go home .“
Danno gave a wink to Bo-Bo and said .
“It will be dark in about five minutes and most of the night creatures will be coming out of their dens and hideaways . So we best make tracks quickly .
Bo-Bo and Danno walked away .
“Wait for me Bo-Bo . Danno wait for me .“
Charlie screamed and it didn’t take him long to catch up with them .
After something to eat things settled down .
“So what’s happening tomorrow Danno ?”
Charlie asked and Danno replied .
“We’re going to have a look at the rat race with Ocker the clocker . “
Bo-Bo replied ,
“Well that’s a race with no winner Danno .”
Charlie looked a little worried and said ,
“Danno , do you mean the kind of rat that squeaks and has four legs , two sharp teeth and a long wiggly tail ?“
“That’s about right cuz , except they’re not just your normal rat , they’re a water rat . They mostly live around Blackwater Creek . Ocker has been hunting them out for years . He really knows a good one when he sees one .“
Charlie was having trouble breathing and in mild shock .
“That sounds like an interesting day Danno , a day at the rat races . I’ve never been there before . Does it get a big crowd ?”
Danno replied ,
“Yeah mate . They come from all around to see them run . This time Ocker has a real flyer . He calls her Hurry Scurry . She’s in the first race at Sandon Rat Track and he reckons she’s good enough to take out the race . He’s been feeding her up on big fat yabby’s for weeks and running her at night on a long lead on the sand .“
Charlie was breaking out in a sweat and looking very uncomfortable .
“Ah Danno, what’s a yabby?”
Danno replied ,
“Well some here call them crawchie, crawdad, craybob or even lobbie and they come in different colours , blue, black, white, brown, red, green or mixed combinations . They’re a little crawfish with crab like pinchers . Look there’s one about to grab your big toe Cuz . “
Charlie let out a big scream and jumped about six feet in midair .Bo-Bo burst out laughing and said . There was a knock on the door of the caravan and in walked Ocker holding his pride and joy , Hurry Scurry the water rat . He held it up and said
“Here she is . The fastest four legged , furriest little rodent ever to come out of Blackwater creek hole . “
Charlie made a dash for the door and in a few seconds had managed to scramble up to the roof of the caravan .
Danno came outside and looking up he said ,
“Charlie don’t tell me you’re afraid of a tiny little rat . She’ll do you no harm . “
“I’m staying up here , see I don’t get along with rats .“
Charlie replied .
“Well suit yourself mate but she’ll be staying in the van tonight , so you’ll have to sleep outside on the roof , underneath the stars , where the possums and bats and other creatures come out every night .“
Charlie was getting even more worried and said ,
“What’s a possum Danno?”
“Possums are cute little creatures who live in tree hollows during the day but at night they come out and jump on your roof looking for a feed or shelter .”
Charlie breathed a sigh of relief and said .
“Possums sound pretty friendly Danno .”
‘Its not them you have to worry about cuz , it’s the native dingo or hungry fox that you’ll have to worry about . They prowl around at night looking for a possum or another easy prey . So if you happen to be on the roof with a possum mate , you’re fair game mate . “
Ocker came out and stood beside Danno and said ,
“You can come down now Charlie , Hurry Scurry’s gone back into her little box .“.
Charlie slowly made his way down from the roof and was soon in bed .
The night left and the morning sun shone down again . All the night creatures were back in their hollows .
Danno called Bo-Bo and Charlie to come and have breakfast outside under the awning , As they took a seat at the table they over heard Ocker giving last minute instructions to Hurry Scurry .
Later on that morning they all piled into the four wheel drive and drove off for a day at the rat races .
They arrived at a large shed with the sign Welcome to Sandon Rat Track placed above the door ...On the roof of the shed sat a young girl who had to be look out .
Her job was to watch for the police and if she spotted them coming she was to jump up and down on the tin roof of the shed as to warn everyone inside the law were on the way . In days gone by the police had raided the rat races and scooped up all the money form the illegal meeting .
At times a lot of money was won and lost on a rat race .
Charlie and Bo-Bo went inside with Ocker and Danno and stood with forty others who had come to watch the rat races .
Bookmakers stood on chairs offering odds for each rat in the race .
Money was being waged as odds were put up on a board ,
Bo-Bo and Charlie had a bet on Hurry Scurry as did Ocker and Danno .
There were ten plastic tubes running along side by side for the entire length and breadth of the shed . Each runner tube had a number that corresponded to the rat that wore a little coloured vest with the same number on it .
Now it was almost time for the rat race to begin . The race caller asked for the runners to be placed into the chutes . The owners and trainers made their way to the starting chutes and placed their runner into the tube .
All the rats were under starters orders and after the count of three all the barriers cane up and off went the rats .
Hurry Scurry drove to the front and went around the first bend . Charlie began to shout and scream ,
‘Come on Hurry Scurry . “
At first bend Hurry Scurry was well in front and never looked back . It finished well ahead of the other nine rats .
As Bo-Bo and Charlie waited in the queue to pick up their winnings Ocker gave them a wink and said ,
“Welcome to the rat race mate .“
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