TITLE: BOUNTY 20/7/2018
By linda simpson
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He collapsed, panting under the sharp overhang of rock, thankful for some slight relief from the blazing sun. How he longed for a cool, clear pool of water. He was so dirty and thirsty. But he would have to be content with this brief, dusty respite in his escape from THEM. It seemed as though all his life had consisted of getting away from THEM, whose only aim was to wipe him from the face of the earth.
Members strongly committed to Save Australia from Greenhouse Effects (SAGE) were very definite in their beliefs.
“They’ll overrun our country. We've got to get rid of them” was their cry. As a result he'd
seen many of his kind brutally and sadistically destroyed.
From behind desks in comfortable air-conditioned offices, after lengthy discussions with SAGE, a number of directives had been issued by the Department of Research into the Green House Effect
(DRGHE). All were considered necessary for the prolonged maintenance of satisfactory living standards for the citizens of Australia. As a result, on February 21st, 2030, President Tyler
Woodbridge had given her second major address to the nation outlining programmes to assist the country's progression into the next decade. The announcement that there must always be at least two people in a car to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and effectively lessen exhaust emission, had created great furore. Bicycle sales boomed. However, it had made it harder for him and those like him to hide because diligent members of SAGE were able to observe more on their cycles. To leave the more populated area was his only hope of survival – after all there was a price on his head.
He originally tried to find cover in the swampy marshland, north of town. Generations before him
had known it was a safe haven. To his horror only minute patches of lightly soggy ground remained
due to unusually hot dry spells caused by the Greenhouse Effect. He had decided to just press on and hope he wasn’t spotted. So far he had managed OK and beneath this rock was a welcome break. His whole being longed for refreshing water. To feel its soothing coolness on his dry sun parched skin became an uncontrollable urge.
Cautiously he looked around resembling a tortoise with his head only just visible beneath the craggy edge of his hiding place. It seemed to be safe. Then all similarity to a tortoise vanished
as he dashed up the track. In the distance he spied a string of red gums. That could be marking
the banks of a stream or even a river. He could almost smell the water. His exhausted limbs drew fresh energy from the depths of his being as he charged to this promise of rejuvenation. The anticipation of what was to come propelled him on. Reaching the bank, he was disappointed to see only a small trickle coursing its way around dented cans, broken bottles and bleached tree limbs. Nevertheless, there would be enough to satisfy his current craving. Forgetting any chance of danger, he raced down the sandy embankment and lay drinking blissfully, with his head in the
water. By the time he heard he sound it was too late. His life was blotted out instantly with one almighty blow.
“Good work Bill – that's another $50.00. This is proving to be a good spot.”
“Yeah although numbers have really dropped off recently. Still that's the aim of the whole thing
isn’t it? This fella's pretty huge though Bluey, and they reckon they'll get bigger too. After all,their food supply has grown in size and amount. Their bellies would always be full. The only way to stop 'em is to wipe 'em out”
“You're right Bill. Anyway let's go and have some tucker – I'm starving.”
“Ok – we'll drop him off on he way to the pub and collect the reward at the SAGE Cane Toad* Collection Agency. By the way it's my shout this time.”
*Cane toads were introduced into Australia in the 1930's to control beetles attacking the
sugar cane in Queensland. It's been discovered they have no natural enemies in Australia and secrete very poisonous toxins through their skin. As a result this has a devastating effect on
natural fauna as well as being poisonous to cats and dogs. They are more prevalent in Queensland and New South Wales. There is no official bounty
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