Puppet Life

It’s tough being a puppet. Not only do you have to spend a lot of time lying around in a road case, waiting for your moment in the booth, but you have to suffer the indignity of being hung upside down on a clothesline alongside a row of skanky beach towels.

The Devil, Judy, Policeman Plod and Mr Punch were all looking a little travel weary so the Professor gave them a touch up before Sunday’s show and hung them out to dry.

The Mudbrick Pavilion was cool inside despite the heat and the puppets were finally allowed out of the red roadcase to wait for the show to begin. Half an hour after this photo was taken the Persian rug was covered with tiny kids while the older kids and adults made themselves comfortable on the chairs.

Four year old Nikita (who was had brought her birthday party along) led the cry to ‘Whack him! Whack him!”

As usual, I was so engrossed by the show that I forgot to take photos of the crowd, a cheerful bunch of locals and holidayers. Oh well. I’m sure most of the kids who were in the Pavilion yesterday have Mr Punch etched on their memories.

For me, the view below will be what will stay with me long after we leave Mallacoota. I don’t usually like photos of landscapes without people in the shot and this image fails to capture how stunning the inlet actually looks but until I improve my camera skills, it’s all I’ve got to give you a sense of the view, though perhaps a short description might help. Last night, the Professor and I walked along the road past the inlet beneath a starry, moonless sky. The water was dotted with tiny lights as people waded through the shallow water catching flounder at low tide. I watched a pair of teenage boys standing on one of the jetties with their flashlights and nets, waiting for a boat to come and fetch them to take them onto the sand bars.

Tomorrow we head north up the coast, making our way into New South Wales but Mallacoota was a great place for Mr Punch to have his first airing on the road, even if he can’t appreciate the view.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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