The Garden of Eden

There are fairies at the bottom of the garden. Every morning at Skipworth Reserve

fairy wrens no bigger than a hailstone from a Sydney summer storm, hop about the grass.”Don’t let your coffee go cold.” Says Woody as I climb the steeply cut clay steps down to the river bracing myself on the grassy banks for support. I really don’t want to break any more bones this year.

The river looks superb in the morning sun and the water is not cold. Looking back up a photo of the van from part way up the steps would look good. As I raise the camera I can feel eyes watching me. The head lifts. It’s markings are quite pretty. It is stretched across the third step. How close I came. I turn and run back down. Steady myself then turn to see it slithering back into the grass. The same grass that I held onto on the way down.

I call for Woody to throw my gum boots down, “don’t come near the edge throw long and hard.” Then I wade slowly up river to the much wider fishermen’s access track. Ever so careful not to slip and break a leg, a knee and a Nikon.

I return to my coffee half an hour later. It is still warm, in an insulated mug, and those new heart tablets? They work a treat too, didn’t miss a beat.

Skipworth Reserve


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