Bay Tree Offering

“Crikey mate, watch out for that snake!” That’s what I said to my cameraman as we headed deep into the bush in search of the elusive drop bear. With a knife in one hand and a branch of the bay tree in the other, I crept around the slithery beast. I’ve fought crocodiles and emus, but I’m yet to tangle with the devil’s kin. Likewise, I was yet to fight a drop bear.

A bottle cork hat would keep me protected from the deadly beasts of the air, and a singlet, shorts and thongs are all you need to fight off the oppressive Aussie heat. Some people believe you should use this thing called sunscreen, but that’s just a myth.

“What’s the code word again?” I asked my team, not taking my eyes off the narrow path ahead.

Anemone,” one of them answered.

“Right, anaemia,” I said.

“No, it’s anemone.”

“That’s what I said. Allegedly.”

Up ahead, I spotted it. The great drop bear. Legend has it that there’s only three in Australia. As quick as demons and as heavy as a bus, they can take a man out with little more than a stare. I gripped the bay tree branch harder, ready to give it to the drop bear as a peace offering.

As I approached, the devilish creature looked up at me. I held back a shriek. Deep within its eyes, I could see its horrible desires. Unspeakable desires. I got within ten metres and placed the branch down.

Then something horrible happened. It began to move toward me. But I was ready for this! I reached into my backpack and pulled out a jar of black vegetable paste. The only known repellant. Unscrewed the lid. Dipped my fingers in.


A scream. It came from my own throat. “Gemini! Legacy! Independency!” I tried words at random, but my team did not move. What was it again? “Helpfully? Embassy? Oh, anemone! Anemone!”

With that one, beautiful word, my team sprung to action, pulling me out of that deadly situation. We fled, leaving the branch of a bay tree behind in the dust. The drop bear began to feast.

– Keith the Outback Expert