Sunday, January 17, 2010


"Kangaroo" is a very short story, barely five pages in the small bound form of Lies and Stories. I don’t know if it appeared anywhere but in this first short story collection.

I’d not read this one before. My uncle, my mother's older brother, told me – in passing, in a letter – that "Kangaroo" is his story. I’m not sure how much my mother fictionalized it. I need to talk to my uncle.

In the story, a young man on a Harley with a sidecar, traveling through the Australian outback, hits a kangaroo, but doesn’t kill it. Certain that he has irrevocably injured it, he tries to kill it, thinking he can use its hide, but even with a gun he fails to kill the animal again.

My mother highlights both the cockiness, insecurity and sensitivity of the young man, and the tension between city folk and outback folk.

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