Prickly Pears a memory from a sixties childhood or from the pictures in Sunday papers I carried home for Dad to read knowing I might get first go at the comics.
Prickly Pears, acres and acres of them. Rabbits in plague numbers. Lean hard-faced men with Celtic faces beneath brown leather tans. Blue eyes, green eyes; thin-lipped looking always grim. Whistling the sweetest tunes, in tones to move the heart and make you want to cry.
They never wore shorts. They could talk without opening their mouths
and smoke at the same time without needing their hands and roll smokes single handed and drive at the same time. Skills to be admired.
They could call their dogs with a different whistle one that snapped like a whip and would echo from mountains; they could call kids pretty quick that way too and like the dogs, the kids always came and quickly too.
So many tears for so many, as the Prickly Pears escaped from pot plants brought in to beautify and service...as with the rabbits, goats and the dingoes from Asia. No one race can claim immunity from environmental destruction, just degrees, and who really knows anyway...
The sixties was a dry time. A long drought time. Shared family bath time. Few air-conditioners then and very few fans. Wood stoves in most kitchens in the country which cooked the summer midday meals.
for some families it was a golden time...
for others it was cruel and bigoted...
for most it was a complex mix
as it is today - nothing really changes.
Cleopatra spoke in many languages and could read and write in as many. She moved in her life to the purpose to keep Egypt to the ways of Isis and to serve the principles of Maat. The first of the Ptolemies, the Greek Pharaohs of Egypt - to be fluent in Egyptian language, religion and culture. Killing her sisters who aimed to kill her - yet crying bitterly as the massive library of Alexandria was almost destroyed and the loss of most of the world’s ancient knowledge was destroyed by fools and agents provocateur of the Roman tide of stupidity and the straight blinkered track of rigidity which blinds us still...
Jesus said all that we needed to know...”as above so below” think about it “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”...think about it...which would take a lifetime or to to come anywhere near total understanding of those two simple phrases. I wonder was it him who said “don’t cast pearls before swine”...and “don’t suffer fools gladly” as a sort of balance against the natural tendency of us humans to become fanatic about jus about everything decent we have been given to help us along?
Still we are here - human, frail - thinking we know better...thinking we have grown are “evolving” whatever shit we want to believe to make us feel more and better than the white “redneck” farmers who whistled tunes from another time and land...better than Cleopatra even...how many languages can I understand? One at last count. And my spelling in even that is not the best. On ya Cleo! Whatever!
Comfortable around our dinner tables. “Yakkity yak”...postulating what should and should not be done...over designer beer or glasses of bottled wine...“not cask oh! no! how ‘working class dear”. Seldom having the guts to put our own head up above the rest. That takes courage and its easier being clever. Much easier to criticise those we think we could do better than and never do... too much part of the herd... much easier to give voice to admiration for the mavericks who spin out if the herd and do it for us, only to turn our backs on them when they are brought down screaming in the sudden realisation that there is to be no help from the vocal herd...
...no nothing has deep down changed in a hundred thousand years...why do we think it would?
...and still Asian Bell trees spread like Prickly Pears from pots still available in nurseries and there are savage giant toothy dogs roaming about city streets as status symbols for men who wear shorts and jeans with brand names; who cannot whistle sweetly, and who wouldn’t know how to roll a smoke in one hand if their life depended on it, amongst other things; despising the humble blue heeler or kelpie. Now there are dogs with true guts.
and since they infected most of the feral rabbits with Calicii Virus - and God knows how many other animals, some clever-clogs buggers found out there is a market for rabbits for fashionable in-vogue restaurants so they’re breeding rabbits to eat now...special ones which promise not to escape, and not to breed if they do.
Yes, we are so much wiser now.