Australia had been Julia’s home for two years; long enough for her to know most of the territory. And, with her new job at “Plants Galore,” she was beginning to feel like more of an Australian everyday.
There was much to see and do in a country often referred to as the country “down under.” She had visited many areas of Australia and found them all to be rough, often inhabitable but always, beautiful.
But, there was an area in north Australia where only the very “hearty” visited. It was considered by many to be awesome and fearful, due in part to the world’s largest species of crocodile, the salt water crocodile. Blessedly, the salt water crocodile had always been protected by the government but occasionally a few emerged to cause heartache and fear in some of the locals.
It was February when Julia decided to take a small vacation. She didn’t want to go alone so she decided to ask Jeremy, her boyfriend of six months, to come along with her. According to current weather projections the heat at that time would be average—around 80-90 degrees. Not so hot that they couldn’t enjoy the trip.
As with most areas in Australia, the land was dry and warm but even though it was rough going at times, the scenery and landscape was beautiful with lush gardens and beaches, often filled with tourists and locals; everyone enjoying the weather and atmosphere that only Australia could provide.
The trip to the north of the country was worth the effort and Julia and Jeremy soon found a spot that was romantic and secluded. Away from the beaches and tourists they settled into an area that was intriguing but with a touch of danger.
They settled into a tiny resort area off the beaten path and after signing in, began to hike and explore the area.
It wasn’t long before they came upon a hilly area; the land dry and replete with wild animals such as kangaroo, hyenas and such but nothing that most Australians weren’t used to. Later they came to an area and saw a sign that read: RESTRICTED: DO NOT ENTER.
No one was around and even though they knew that they shouldn’t enter, they hesitantly walked around the sign and into the dry, flat area. They didn’t see anything that looked dangerous; just some small animals here and there. .
But, after an hour they began to feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Julia couldn’t put her finger on it but she felt an element of danger. Jeremy, too, was feeling edgy and so they began to travel back to the no enter sign.
Seconds later they saw several Huntsman’s spiders on the ground. They knew that the spiders were not dangerous but that the bite from the large insect, could be painful and traumatic. So, they slowly but carefully edged away from them.
About fifteen minutes later they heard something that stopped them dead in their tracks. It was the sound of a rifle being fired. The sound was close and hearing that, they began walking faster.
Just as they approached the “do not enter” sign, they saw directly ahead of them several large red kangaroos. They had never seen such tall red kangaroos and they were numb with fear..
The animals were frightened seeing humans in that area and from that fear they began to quickly pace back and forth, inching toward them in an aggressive way. Julia and Jeremy had nothing to protect themselves except for a large slingshot that Jeremy had stashed away in his backpack. The slingshot was large and could cause some damage. He pulled it out and aimed at one of the creature’s legs. He pulled back the leather sling, inserted a large stone and released the stone. .
The shot stunned one of the kangaroos and seconds later the animals ran toward the vast desert beyond the “no enter” sign. The experience scared Julia and Jeremy so badly that they went back to the resort, where they could rest and recuperate.
It was an adventure that proved once again, “Be careful where you tread!"
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