Henry Lawson

The First Dingo

The kangaroo was formed to run, but not from man alone – it ran before the horse or gun or native dog was known. It ran when drought left waterholes three hundred miles between – from great floods and greater fires than we have ever seen. The blacks beside the coastal springs, where mountain sides are steep, they bred and kept their kangaroo much tamer than are sheep. And when the men fought inland tribes or when they roamed at large, they drove their flocks down to the sea and left the gins in charge. And so, alert, with startled eyes the shepherdess in fear perceives with wonder and surprise some foreign beats appear. She watches, creeping through the trees, and round the blackened logs the strangest sight by southern seas – the stranded Dutchmans’s dogs.

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