After talking so much about dingoes being a part of the book, I thought it would be appropriate to return to that topic again in this series. Yes, they’re “only” a wild dog, but did you know the dingo is the largest land predator in Australia? And if you’ve ever seen the destruction a wild dog, or a pack of wild dogs, can do to newborn lambs and calves, you’ll understand why, in a land where agriculture is predominant, these animals are not viewed with any fondness.
Also… if you’ve been woken in the dead of night by a blood-curdling howl, you’ll think even less of them.
I don’t know if it was the dead of night, but we ran into a dingo like that at least once, and they really can’t howl properly. I was told they’re probably half dingo-half dog. Somehow, due to that cross between wild and domesticated, their mournful wail is distorted. The typical howl you’d expect from a dingo becomes something… otherworldly.
We were living in a caravan at the time, camped out on the property quite a ways from the homestead. All we had were a closed-in awning across the front of the caravan that we used for a dining room, and the caravan itself. The amenities were, for a time, a quick walk into the scrub. And…
This dingo with a blood-curdling howl starts hanging around the camp.
I don’t think we ever saw it, but we knew it was out there every time it howled. Every time it’s cry sent a shiver down your spine when you had to walk away from camp for any reason at all.
I know Dad went out with the spotlight to try to find it, but I don’t think he ever did.
I doubt it was a real threat to an adult, but to a thirteen year old kid… I probably spent as much time looking over my shoulder as I did watching where I was going!
It finally moved on and left us alone and we were able to wander around the camp without fear of that creature starting up its awful howl, but that wasn’t my last run in with a dingo.
A year or two later we’ve moved to another property. The house we lived in was this big old place surrounded by a nice fence. There were trees all around the house, a dam out front where we’d occasionally see kangaroos coming in for a drink (and where we’d go swimming or fishing when it was warm). Mum had a veggie garden, we bought a bunch of chickens and added to the flock with new chicks every once in a while.
One such time, we had the new chicks in a small cage in the house yard behind the house. I don’t remember much of what happened that day, but I remember I liked to sit out by the cage watching and playing with the chicks. And this particular afternoon saw me going out there once again.
I hadn’t paid any attention to anything that was going on until I got close to the cage. That was when I heard a noise over toward the side of the house yard. I looked around, just in time to see a dingo race away from the fence.
Of course, I immediately called for Dad or raced inside to tell him what I’d seen, and he went out with the gun. By then though, the dingo was long gone and we never saw him again.
To my teenage self, that was a startling moment. I wasn’t afraid of dingoes, but hadn’t expected to see one so close to the house. It was right. there. But, if I’m being completely honest, I probably scared it as much as it scared me.
More about Persuade Me
One horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.
For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.
This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.
The sky is the limit.
Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.
Life is good.
Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?
Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?
Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.
Now for the Giveaway
To be entered to win an ebook copy of Persuade Me, leave a comment down below and tell me which Australian critter you think is the most interesting. Personally, I have a strong preference for the quokkas. They’re such happy little critters. And my favorite Aussie bird is the kookaburra.