100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #6 … “Badagarang – Bringer of Warmth”

16 Aug

It was the time of the dawning story. The young gathered around the kangaroo clan elder.

“I am Badagarang. This is the land of our ancestors,” the elder explained. “Each dawning we await the first touch of sunlight. We say our words of faith and bring warmth to the land.”

The clan stood ready to recite their words.

Badagarang sniffed the air, “Flee!”

Too late he sensed the smells he knew brought danger. Too late he heard the sound of dogs and the guns.

With the next dawning, none remained to say the words of faith. The sun shone but there was no warmth.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


22 responses to “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #6 … “Badagarang – Bringer of Warmth”

  1. Sally-Jayne

    August 16, 2011 at 21:34

    Poignant and beautifully written. Unfortunately far too true of the world we live in.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 16, 2011 at 22:02

      Thanks for the comment.

      When I go on my walks through the Australian bush, the eastern grey is an often seen feature. This big guy would have been about 160+cm tall and there only 10 to 15cm shorter than me. We eyed each other off before I took a shot. This was the result, a photo.

      He was one of the largest males I have seen in my area. Most bound away as I approach. In the Sydney language, “badagarang” is the word for eastern grey kangaroo. Looking at this photo in my collection, the story came to mind.

      • Sally-Jayne

        August 16, 2011 at 22:20

        I didn’t realise you’d taken the picture yourself – a talented photographer as well as a talented writer. Nor did I realise there were different types of kangaroo. That’s what I love about these challenges – they are a way to learn new things as well as enjoy other people’s writing.
        I’d love to see kangaroos outside of a zoo – even if they did run away.

      • Ross Mannell

        August 16, 2011 at 23:05

        Thanks for the compliment, Sally-Jayne. Photography and video work are hobbies I do as non-profit for schools and community groups. I’m waiting for an edit of a multi-schools performing arts festival video to save as I type.

        There are a number of kangaroo and wallaby species in Australia. Locally we have the pictured eastern grey kangaroo and the swamp wallaby (link to photo below). In my first teaching position in western NSW, we had red kangaroos. The largest stood taller than me and were wonderful to watch bounding across open land.

        Swamp wallaby photo link…

  2. Lynda Dixon

    August 16, 2011 at 22:15

    This made me feel very sad. A poignant reminder of destruction of great species.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 16, 2011 at 22:31

      In one of the quirks of nature, some kangaroo species are in greater numbers than once. It seems the provision of water for cattle in the outback has provided the kangaroos with an unexpected bonus. In other areas, their numbers and the numbers of other species are in decline. My town has three national parks and a nature reserve surrounding it so species numbers mostly aren’t too bad.

      The pictured roo is common around here. Play golf on the local golf course and they are an extra obstacle. Go to a local caravan park and they graze on the grass. From the window where I am sitting, they can sometimes be seen grazing on the sports field across the road in the early hours of the day.

      The story was more about the general plight of species but I liked the photo I had taken of the large eastern grey kangaroo so I featured him.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)

    August 17, 2011 at 00:12

    Heartbreaking. I did not see that coming. I was expecting words of wisdom, and got them in an unexpected way. Wonderful work.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 17, 2011 at 00:33

      Thanks for the comment, Lisa.

      There are those who show little regard for species. When I read my 100WCGU again it reminds me of the fragility of ecosystems. We are often unaware of the consequences of the loss of species. Taken too far we may tip the balance and drive species to extinction with flow on effects across ecosystems…. “…there was no warmth.”

  4. Anna Halford

    August 17, 2011 at 06:16

    Thanks for sharing this; poignant and touching. Stories based on animals have always been a love of mine- as a child I read Anita Hewitts animal stories until the book fell apart!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 17, 2011 at 06:34

      Thanks for the comment.

      I’ve always had a love of animals. Children at schools knew if they found an injured animal I would try to help it. Always believed in catch and release if called to remove a spider from a classroom. 🙂

      Shocked another teacher one day while on playground duty. She saw me stomping on the ground and came to find out why. I was herding a juvenile black snake off the playground. They are poisonous but the black snake is a shy species and just wanted to be out of the way.

  5. sparksinshadow

    August 17, 2011 at 07:06

    I hate the way some of us humans treat animals as if they aren’t sentient beings. But then there are many of us who treat other humans that way, too.

    I like the way you write about animals, and I love your writing in this one. This story, though sad, has a powerful, simple beauty.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 17, 2011 at 08:45

      Thanks for the comment.

      If we take the time to really observe animals, we can see how individual many are. Particularly in higher species, personalities show through. Where there is individuality, there is sentience.

      As part of my degree, I studies the behaviour of the South American spider monkeys in a zoo. Now there is the expression of character. Remember one who found a treat. As it casually moved past, it picked it up and found a place out of sight of others to enjoy the treasure. Humans wouldn’t do that would they? 😉

  6. wcdameron

    August 18, 2011 at 03:12

    “It was the time of the dawning story” The first line captures the reader and you deliver. Well done.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 18, 2011 at 05:36

      Thanks for the comment.

      Always enjoyed fantasy story lines. This one came to mind when I was viewing some of my photo collection for inspiration.

  7. jfb57

    August 18, 2011 at 07:14

    I really love this Ross. It is such a great genre and there will be lots of children who would relish the chance to find out more about it. Very Australian!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 18, 2011 at 07:37

      Thanks for the comment.

      When helping in holiday care, I sometimes become the story teller. It’s a great chance to test ideas and see what works. Your 100WCGU has given me another outlet to see what is or isn’t liked. It’s a great idea.

      By the way, sorry I’ve only been able to comment on some of the 100WCGU entries. Been very busy with editing 3 DVDs for schools. I am only able to drop in for short times when the computer is busy. Will be more on line soon as working on final DVD starting today. One DVD was for a talented musician camp and the other two for a 16 local school performing arts festival. Great fun. Great kids.

  8. gsussex

    August 19, 2011 at 08:03

    I really enjoyed this; well constructed and with a clear Australian cultural angle. A great success Ross!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 19, 2011 at 14:47

      Thanks for the comment.

      The Australian bush is part of my normal life. I often go on long walks. The pictured kangaroo confronted me one morning and gave me a chance for the photo. They aren’t normally aggressive unless cornered. After a pause, we both went our own way.

  9. Susan Mann

    August 20, 2011 at 02:18

    Beautifully written and very touching. It is however very sad and unfortunately very true.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 20, 2011 at 05:49

      Thank you for the comment.

      There are so many world species we’ve lost over the years to over-hunting and habitat loss. It would be a great pity if one day most of our surviving animal species could only be viewed in zoos or museums.

  10. Cherise Duxbury

    August 22, 2011 at 06:32

    I read this whilst watching a wild life program…animals are a passion of mine and I love they way you have captured their essence and their plight Ross. Your picture captures his majestic presence in what I would imagine to be beautiful surroundings. Great stuff!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 22, 2011 at 23:16

      Thanks for the comment.

      When coming near eastern gray kangaroos, they usually do their best to keep out of my way. The pictures male seemed more curious of the person in his territory. It gave a me a good chance to capture the photo before we went our own ways. 🙂


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