What’s that, Skip?

September 11, 2009 at 9:01 am | Posted in Short Story | 2 Comments
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Truth can be stranger than fiction.

Eleven hundred bucks to insure a ten-grand Barina? I don’t think so. Not unless you’re planning to drive off a cliff. We’d saved too hard for this holiday and nothing was going to stop us living it up in Adelaide.

Nothing, that is, until we missed the Ararat turnoff and hurtled into the Grampians at sunrise.

Of course I’d heard about hitting Skippy in the twilight, but she’d always looked so delicate on the telly. What match was a moth-eaten marsupial for a gleaming tan hatchback with 1.3 litres of power?

When ‘Stumpy’ the seven foot mob champion slammed into us, the windscreen filled with fur and split. The engine shrieked, the chassis shuddered and the cabin turned festive with warning lights as we tracked towards a deep culvert.

With time running at one tenth normal speed, I managed to ease the crippled vehicle to a halt. We exited via the good door and moved away from the sound of steam and fizzing battery acid.

Bereft, I tottered up the road like Ruth Cracknell as dawn burnished the landscape. Stumpy was nowhere to be seen.

Four hours, 22 km and $200 later, I surveyed the ruin of our holiday as ‘Fred’s’ tow truck dumped it among former victims.

‘Kangaroo?’ inquired a broken Commodore.

I turned, too exhausted to be surprised. ‘Yeah.’

‘They call him ‘Stumpy’.’

‘No sh*t.’

A Gemini lisped – engine bay crushed to half its size. ‘Did he get your lion?’

‘My what?’

‘Your little lion; off the bonnet. He collects them.’

I knelt and spotted a tuft of fur where the badge had been. ‘Um … Look’s like it.’

‘Definitely Stumpy,’ chorused the yard, before reverting to country silence.

 Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.



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  1. Poor stumpy 😦 _ I can sympathise with the roo, you are in his territory after all. You are hurtling along – he/she is hurtling along also, or sometimes just peacefully eating that lush grass lovingly watered by the road run-off.
    A roo is an animals that can be very smart, and also very dumb. Hit him with the headlights and he will stand 8 foot tall in the middle of the road and refuse to budget.
    Hit him with the car and he still refuses to budget, and you have massive panel damage.
    I used to be the No. 1 customer of the local panel beater. They seemed to love my car, launching onto it from great heights of 3 foot onto the boot. Joeys would ride on the boot. Had the scratch marks to prove it.
    Although a funny antedote, please do NOT leave an animal by the side of the road suffering. If you have hit a roo, please call the police or call in at the local station and advise them of the location. Please do the humane thing.

  2. Thanks for dropping by, SM! You raise great points, which I appreciate very much. I nearly walked out of ‘Wake in Fright’ the other week. Can’t handle cruelty to critters one iota. Best regards, P. 🙂

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