The boomerang sailed through the air, spinning around and around as it flew at its pointed direction – and then it smacked into the tree. A eucalyptus tree. Splintered bark fluttered to the dry golden earth.
“Great job, Derain!” Balun’s father exclaimed to his eldest son. “Very good markmanship. If that tree was a kangaroo, we’d be having a feast tonight.”
Balun stared at the boomerang, which had fallen to the ground, and hoped he could impress his father, too, as it was now his turn to try.
“Go pick up that boomerang, Balun, and let’s see what you can do,” his father ordered him.
Balun trudged slowly to the eucalyptus thirty feet away, dragging out the moment when he would have to hurl the wooden arch into the air. He never threw the boomerang as fast or as far as Derain. I never landed on his intended target, which gave his father ammunition to ridicule him for not being a strong warrior.
“I feel sorry for Balun’s future family,” his brother would snicker to their father. “They’ll never have any meat on their table unless it’s roadkill that he found on the street.”
“Ah, you should go join the women and learn to gather plants and berries,” his father would tell him. “Or else your family will starve.”
Balun bent down to pick up the boomerang and glanced up at the mark where his brother had effortlessly struck. Behind him, his father called for him to hurry up. Dropping his head in early defeat, Balun gripped the smooth wooden arch and trudged back to the spot where his father and brother stood.
“Maybe if you aim for the brush on the left, you might actually his the tree,” Derain chided him.
“Shhh, Derain,” their father said. “Your brother needs to concentrate, and his doesn’t need some cockatoo squawking in his ear.”
Balun looked at his father with surprise. He’d never heard him shush Derain. Balun’s father glanced down at his son and nodded.
“Go ahead, boy.” Show us what you’ve got.”
Balun held up the boomerang, and with all his might, he threw it at the tree. And then he watched the magnificent arch circle through the air – spinning around and around and around…until it knocked against the mark which Derain’s boomerang had made on the tree.
– Written by Miss A on October 19, 2011