• Madison White

A Story a Day #48: Henry Lawson

April 5th, 2020

"The Drover's Wife"

Henry Lawson

In the Australian bush lives a drover's wife and her four children. It is very lonely and isolated out there. One day, her children see a snake go under a pile of sticks. She becomes preoccupied by this and cannot sleep knowing it is out there. She knows that her dog, Alligator, will kill the snake if given the chance. Eventually, the snake comes out and, as predicted, the dog catches it. The wife hits it and throws it into the fire where it burns.

I think what this story does really well is represent the isolation of living somewhere remote. It goes through a number of thoughts and realities that happen in these situations. Understanding the this kind of headspace is very difficult to capture in words. There are very specific challenges, especially those of a wife raising children on her own. What this reminded me of were some of the prairie stories from America where women would have to raise children on their own on remote farms. They rely on no one but themselves except for a few trusty animals and maybe a friendly neighbor. In light of today's pandemic, I think quite a few of us can relate to only having the few people around us, and perhaps a trusty animal, to rely on. We may not be physically isolated, like in this story, but mentally.

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© 2018 Madison White Writes

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