The Skink

You and Mul arrive at the rise of the hill at the same time. The great stone arch towers over you and the Viros. If you were your normal size it would still be big, but you’d have to skooch down to see through the hole. On the bottom stone, but still above you, a golden brown lizard flicks its tongue. It has a dark speed stripe running up its side.

“Oscar!” Mul shouts.

“Miss Mulberry Wild,” he says. Oscar is a Bar Sided Skink. He examines you carefully. “Always nice to see a new face. You’re not local, are you?”

“With us, Oscar.” Mul quickly stands beside you. Oscar gives you the ‘skink eye’, which is the same as the ‘stink-eye’ except from a lizard.

“Always a pleasure,” Oscar says and as Midge drops the board, adds, “Looks like interesting work.”

“Work?” Midge says. “Pure pleasure, mate.”

“I’m sure,” Oscar says. He nods at Gum. “And what about you?”

Gum, clutching his side, says, “Stitch. Too many peas on the walk up the hill.”

Mul shakes her head, and says, “Oscar, I thought you were stationed at Hanlon Park over at Stones Corner?”

“Reports of unruly Lantana. Despite having to travel on one of those Noisy Minors, I thought it best to visit. There’s room for everyone you know. Some just get a little greedy.”

“Do you want to come to the Weir with us?”

Oscar cleared his throat. “Very thoughtful of you, Miss Wild. I’d better keep an eye on things here.”

“C’mon,” Gum announces. He points along the track. “Surfing.”

Oscar flicks his tongue. “I thought a basic requirement of such an endeavour would be aquatic momentum. Is this evidence of rocks in the head perhaps?”

“Undoubtedly,” Midge says. “But you’ll see, it will work!”

“Are you planning to cross the causeway?” Oscar asks. The Viros all nod. “Be careful. Some of the stones are very loose.”

“Is it bad?” Mul asks.

“It’s been worse. Only those light coloured rocks are unstable. Due to their weight, the darker coloured stones are still secure. Test them with a stick and tread gently.”

“What about the blues ones?” Gum says.

“Would you describe blue as a light colour?” Oscar asks.

“Light blue is.”

The Skink points his head at the lush Staghorn high up on the trunk above. “Have a look at that fern up there. What colour is it?”

“It’s green.” Gum says immediately.

Oscar sighs. “What shade of green?”

“I don’t know. Really green?” Gum guesses.

Oscar’s tongue snakes out impatiently. “Careful of Brush Turkeys too. One of the beggars almost had a piece of me. They’ll have no qualms about nibbling at you, or your weediot friend here.” He tipped his head toward Gum.

“Thanks Oscar,” Mul says. “Always nice to – ” But he’s gone. That’s the thing about Skinks. They could be right beside you and you wouldn’t know.

“Well you heard him. Grab a small stick, thin ones are best,” Midge says.

“Where to now?” you ask Mul.

“We continue along the track,” Mul says. “It dips down into a gully toward the creek. The causeway is a smooth creek crossing. If Oscar is only halfway right, they’ll be the most dangerous stepping stones you’ve ever set foot on.”

2-3 minutes walk along the footpath approx. 250m from the stone arch toward the causeway

Once you reach the correct location click the link at the bottom of the Story City app page. Click here.