An Australian Christmas – The Gift


Chrismas knocking at the door and time from me to say thank you to you all and particularly to the many new readers that continually are popping up from the most concealed corner of the globe to read my stories.
For this occasion, I am presenting you a touching Chrismas bush Story written by Lothar Nowak that well represents what life was in the inland bush in the past


The Gift
a Christmas Story from the Australian Outback
by Lothar Nowak, Newcastle, New South Wales
back to the Christmas page The old man had seen better days.. battered, sunburnt, calloused. Pain and weather had worn his face and his heart. Most of his life he had spent walking the bush… working here and there for a meal, some shelter, in return he would work a couple of days… any odd jobs. He remembered back to ’58… he had a wife and little boy … but they’d died when their farm burnt in a firestorm that had engulfed the whole district . It seemed to him that there was no point in rebuilding without them and so he began his trek. His hat , his swag , blistered feet , broken heart his only possessions. So he lived …day to day …year to year … job to job… sadness to sadness. The farmhouse came into view. .just one of the many he’d seen on his travels… run down ..long grass grew in the gate … it needed painted .. roof needed fixing…some palings were missing. This would be a few days’ work he figured… a place to stop…a feed…maybe some companionship… years on the road had hardened him…he missed contact with others …but not love…he didn’t miss that . He’d done that once and that had been buried along with his wife and little boy. But now he had a more pressing need… he hadn’t had a proper meal for a few days and no matter how dead his heart was, his stomach was alive and well and telling him that a refill was overdue. He walked up the dusty path that led to the farm house. Just as he got to the door she answered… just another farmers wife… years had also worn her out but there was a strength in her face… typical of a woman left on her own for a long time…Her husband was probably a drover… away for a lot of the time. “Hello missus …. looking for some work…for a feed if you can spare it “ She looked at him…a smile slowly crossing her lined but gentle face … “Got plenty here:” she said. “Come in have a feed and see what I can find for you to do” They both went inside…and she led him to the kitchen table…there was a feast… turkey … potatoes …. vegetables… some bread …. Seemed a lot. She asked him to sit while she poured some coffee .. ” help yourself….it seems too much now that Tom’s not here any more … ‘ Tears welled in her eyes…but a sniff and a wipe and she composed herself. “lost him last month…flooded creek when he was crossing with some cattle… anyway, get stuck in… ‘ The old man did and as he began, he heard a small cry from the next room…she got up and brought back a small child…. There were still birth marks on him. ‘ he was born last night ‘ she said… ‘gonna be tough.. but we’ll manage ‘ As he ate his eyes spotted a small Christmas tree in the corner…bare…. it was Christmas and he didn’t even know… She looked at him and said…eat up. …don’t worry about the work… it’ll get done some other time…make sure you’re full.. fill your bag…you can sleep in the shed ‘ So the old man ate his fill…the woman tended to the baby…..then she laid the baby down It was too much for the old man. He decided he would eat and then leave quietly… there were too many memories here. The woman moved into the next room and so he walked out. By now it was late evening but there was something strange going on. The whole area outside was bathed in bright light, almost as though it were daylight. The old man turned and was struck by the large star that appeared to be directly over the old farmhouse. He shuddered was Christmas , the woman had given him something but he had not returned the gift. He had nothing. Or so he thought. He reached into his pants pocket and his hand wrapped around his old mouth organ…the one his wife had given him that year when the crops had been good. It was a special gift…a sacrifice gift…bought when money should have been spent elsewhere. It was the only thing that reminded him of the old days. He started to walk away but something pulled him back.. Christmas … a baby … a baby born in such sweet innocence…born on that special day ….only later to be hung on cross… the greatest gift of all. He turned back , bathed in the starlight moved quietly into the bedroom where the baby lay. He reached inside his pocket took his precious mouth organ and laid in the cradle. He went to the shed and made his bed…would have to get up early. ..had a lot of work to do …could take him months maybe even longer. For the first time in many years he fell asleep with a peace deep in his soul. He had given his prize possession and maybe he got a gift back that was even more valuable… For in giving he had received even more….

Published by carlogabbiwriter

Italian born, and living in Australia. I'm writing for the past 15 years in both Italian and English language. I pubblished my first book in USA and it's available with Amazon. I also wrote several long stories which are grouped under the name "A song of Love" and several other works available in my blog in Rosso Venexiano.

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