|The Honey Man|
|One day, when I was a child, my mother passed me a handled tin and a precious bundle of money.|
|I made the long trip (about 100 metres) up to our front gate, and carefully negotiated the thick red roadside mud to the edge of our road. With great responsibility I looked every way and crossed the tar, and the mud on the other side, to find the secret old track that led to the honey man.|
I walked done the track. The bush was cool, and partly-dark, and had the wonderful old smell of the Australian bush.
There were seed pods and dead leaves and twigs on the ground, and birds and other noises in the air. There was that special scent of a forest that needs fire to grow -- the remnants of charcoal smell, and that Australian symbol, the black stumps.
|Stones crunched and rolled beneath my feet and I was alone in a humanless world. |
Down the track I found the honey man's tin sheds. They were rough-and-ready, handmade of old wood, and old corrugated iron coloured grey with age and orange-red with nail rust.
The shed we went into was filled with 44 gallon drums of rich, thick honey. Special honey, fresh from the bees.
The honey man was old, and grizzled and invisible, like a spirit who lives unseen by the water.
He had an old hat. He had clothes. But I remember the Honey Man, not the man.
A couple of years later, a woman denuded his hill to build a boring, square brick mansion and the honey man went away.
|by Ali Kayn|
|See also: Ulee's Gold (Terry's review)
Ulee's Gold (Ali's review)
Peter Fonda, American Son (feature)
For pictures of Australian country
Festivale Online Magazine
disclaimers | contact the editor | Festivale revision history
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia copyright © Festivale 1999 All rights reserved
Filed: 22-Sep-1997 Last updated: 22-Sep-1997 Last tested: Last compiled: 10-Aug-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)