The Fright

first landingMy name is Jonarken from the Cadigal Tribe.  I live around Warrane with my family.  It is the 28th January 1788, a fine morning.  It was just past dawn. I was out in my Canoe having a swim and looking at Rainbow Fish.  I looked out across the sea and coming over the horizon I saw 3 big canoes, then 8 and then 11.

I paddled back to shore and ran into the forest, to look at the big canoes from behind a tree.  I saw ghosts on the canoes carrying short spears.  I was both terrified and amazed!.  Then the ghosts came closer to the shore and got off the giant canoes.  They pointed there little spears into the air, they made loud bangs, like the sound of tree trunks exploding in the scrub fires.  I moved in closer to spy on them.  They were making huts out of strange white material.

I could hear them speaking, but I could not understand what they were saying.  Then they pointed their strange spears at a kangaroo.  The spear made the ‘cracking sound’ and the kangaroo fell to the ground.  ‘How does that happen?’ they were still holding their spears.

Many more white people came off the big canoes.  They started planting seeds to grow, but they never grew.  I went closer, then a white person walked up to me and I noticed the young girl looked friendly so I gave her a piece of fruit. Then she gave me a warm flat square of some sort.  After that I ran to my tribe and told them about the white ghosts and how one is nice and about the big canoes.

They told me to go and spy on them, to get onto the big canoes and see what is inside.  So I went into one of the big canoes and saw lifeless ghosts on the floor – it stank!  Scurrying around the bodies on the floor were strange grey creatures that squeaked and scratched at the still ghosts.  As I watched in horror an alive ghost hit my arm and it stung.

I ran and saw another one, I pushed past, making my way to the top of the canoe.  I jumped into the water and swam back to shore.  I noticed that my arm was bleeding so I ran back to my tribe to tell them my story.

After that it was night time, so I went into my bark hut and on my head I rested the white square the nice girl ghost had given me.  The next morning I went hunting and killed a Goanna and ate it with my family.  The next day I saw the nice white ghost and I gave her some Kangaroo meat from yesterdays hunt.  I left her and went back to my tribe.

When I arrived back at my tribe I heard that we were moving further away.  Behind me I saw the white person.  She had followed me all the way through the forest.  So now the white girl knows the way to her home and she knows the way to mine.  So we can always visit and I hope our friendship gets stronger.

Luke Steele, age 9

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