Winter Was Hard by Damian Pullen

Cycling home we saw a farmer standing by his sheep, with his shotgun on his shoulder. On the radio Paul Locke said respect the rule of law.

It got really cold and they closed the school. We went down to the river and caught a couple of small trout. Not really enough for five of us and Solo, but Dad made a big thing about it, so we went again. It rained and Dane lost his hook, so we collected firewood instead and came home, freezing and hungry.

When Dad went hunting with a neighbour someone stole our firewood, and Solo disappeared. Dad came back all dirty the next day, saying it wasn’t really safe out there, too many desperate people looking for food. We’d never eaten goat before, and it tasted and smelled weird. You had to chew it for ages. Mum said eat up, a billion Indians can’t be wrong. Susie started crying in bed that night. She asked if people eat cats.

Dad is busy digging the lawn up and planting seed trays. He brings them in at night. He reckons there’s another month of frosts to go. A man came to the door selling possums for $10 each, but we didn’t buy one.

Tonight for supper we had potatoes, with salt on. Just like the Irish in the bad old days, Mum said. The butter is all gone.

We all sleep in the same room, and Dad won’t let us listen to the radio any more.

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Filed under Damian Pullen

6 responses to “Winter Was Hard by Damian Pullen

  1. Al McDermid

    Despite the brevity, the entire situation is so clear. I especially like the ending.

  2. This is so sad, and the thing is that this could be almost any time period past or present.

  3. Ryder

    I am liking the understated menace very much.

  4. The matter-of-fact delivery of the deprivation makes the story all the more stark. Fantastic. Peace…

  5. Michelle Ong

    Lovely. I liked the concise clarity of the language.

  6. Pingback: Wk #11 – Red Meat « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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