Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Chocolates and a Patrol Box Story

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Image: from Indigenous Identities

As I ate the chocolates from the box I had a story sensation go through my imagination buds. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. The story seemed to deliciously unfold around me as if it was my story. I seemed to dance it, taste it, and sing it, and write it all at the same time.

Patrol Officer Box

The solid rectangular metal box belonged to her father. It was strong, a boring silver and dented. It was, she had heard, full of old photographs and a billum. He was Australian and went to Papua New Guinea to find adventure. He would later be spoken about as the white-man who became lost in the bush coming out to see his in-laws. He used to ride a motorbike, and collect Bob Dylan records in a record club. She could hear his motorbike zoooooming away.

He didn’t understand the customs for a long time, although he spoke the local language, a gift from his own father a linguist and Esperanto lover, and respected the people. How was he to know he would become legend.

His wife, her mother was a tiny bush mekeo lady with a large bush knife. She was a trainee nurse whose father was a medicine man. She was raised by Missionaries but with the soul of her mother always guarding her she was a formidable person. No priest was going to really tell her exactly how to act. She likes to sing the Greatest hits of The Eagles and change them – “Welcome to the Hotel Port Moresby.”

Her father, also a crocodile hunter was a complicated man, so much to admire and yet so much to fear. She too was complicated, in Australia, for a time, she was meek and mild and quiet, the roast cooking stay at home Mum, whose husband worked in the mountains. Later she was ferocious protector of her sons. No crocodile or snake was going to come near them.

Mother and Father, both one day became something of legend to their daughter who, opening the patrol box, found all the memories came rushing out as if Pandora herself had opened up that box. She found out about “the native women protection act” and men who left their Papua New Guinea loves behind. Her parents were different. She saw her mother’s sisters dying from snake bite. She felt the sadness as photographs were never taken to her mother’s village and much, much more.

They were “Hope”, well hope mixed with a little bit of chaos.

The pen stopped flowing as if the chocolate had hit my imagination and then zoomed out again. Should I take another, hmm I knew me and chocolates this could end up with a stomach ache. What would happen if I had perhaps just one more….

© June Perkins images and words

©Soul Food, Prompt Trunk in the attic of wonderment

Written by June

February 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Posted in Gumbootspearlz

One Response

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  1. I am so pleased you found the trunk in the attic of the Arches, a beloved place from my childhood. Beautiful work June! Just beautiful! What a tribute!

    Heather Blakey

    February 7, 2009 at 7:17 am

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