Some of this story is based on real events. The rest is absolute rubbish.
On the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, just outside of the picture perfect town of Streaky Bay, there is a small community of shacks in a place aptly named Fishermans Paradise.
Paradise because it clearly is; views of white sandy beaches, and perfect waves breaking on hidden reefs abound.
‘Fishermans‘ because in this part of the country, fishing bag limits can be reached in minutes. (Forty of them, but still).
It is here that you find yourself on a June long weekend, with winter on its best behaviour. You’ve had cool, refreshing nights, followed by breezy sunny days that mean fishing, kayaking and watching the kids play in the ocean, where friendly seals come to visit.
Come evening, you sit outside with three of your friends, watching the flames of your bush fire dance over long planks of wood. A thousand stars twinkle in the clear night, casting their light as they wait for the moon to rise. The night is black and you can’t even see the ocean a few hundred meters from the front yard, although the sound of the swell occasionally breaks through your chatter.
There’s lots to talk about around the campfire. The absence of satellites in the night sky is a key discussion topic.
‘Probably why we have no phone reception,’ someone (who fails to see the interest of this topic),remarks.
Someone else brings up their discovery of a bong on the beach today, and you are all relieved none of the kids found it.
Wine is poured, and cups of tea, and the fire is continually provoked, keeping the chill of the night at bay.
At some point, you all become distracted by the headlights of a car slowly winding down the road; this part of the world is sufficiently isolated enough that this is an event. Especially at 9:30 at night.
‘I wonder where they have been?’ someone says.
‘Probably the pub,’ someone else replies.
‘You never know, they could have been at church,’ the optimist of the group says.
‘Long church service,’ you respond.
‘Maybe they are out here to bury a body.’
Everyone giggles at the ridiculousness of the statement, until…
The car, already driving slow, stops and lets someone out.
‘Well I guess they didn’t like him.’
The car moves on, slower still, then stops again. The driver and another passenger get out, and together with the first passenger, do something on the far side of the car, hidden in the blackness of the night. You all watch with some curious trepidation; the body comment seems less funny now.
‘Maybe it was them that lost the bong?’ one of your friends suggests.
‘Maybe they are releasing Bilbies into the wild,’ comes another, extremely random pondering.
‘Or they actually are burying a body.’
Moments later, the three climb back into the car, and it slowly begins to wind its way back up the quiet streets, going to who-knows-where, its purpose as hidden as the ocean on this moonless night.
The next morning, you go exploring and find the following:
- Car tracks
- Animal excrement
- A large rock loosely placed back into a hole in the dirt
- Two scattered sticks
From this you conclude that one of four things happened.
You must choose your own adventure. What do you think was happening?
The occupants of the car were burying a body.
The occupants of the car were releasing bilbies into the wild.
The occupants of the car were collecting firewood.
The occupants of the car were looking for their missing bong.
Which adventure did you choose?
In all truth, we have no idea what happened. Or why anyone thought Bilbies were being released into the wild.
This will forever remain, The Mystery of Fishermans Paradise.