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A Bunch of Battlers

The city seemed almost familiar as the children pedalled along
the wide street beside the Yarra River. The broad trees cast cool
shadows in the early morning light. They had left the building at
first light – taking care to have tidied up after them. Breakfast
was buns bought at an early opening milk bar on the way to the
station. After collecting the bikes from the cloakroom, Peter
looked at his map (given to him yesterday by the lady at the
tourist bureau) and now led the way.
There were scarcely any cars on their side of the road. At this
time day most traffic was going into the city centre and the
children were going in the opposite direction.
About an hour later, Peter led them into a narrow dirt track that
ran between the river, and the tangled bushland that was
alongside the paddocks of Collingwood farm.
“Thisisnationalparklandandfreeforanyonetouse”informed
Peter“ndoverthereontheothersideoftheriveraresome
abandoned factories - the government has taken over that land
touseasafreewaysomeday”
The track ended. On one side was the river, on the other thick
undergrowth and large trees.
“ThepaddocksofCollingwoodFarmarejustontheothersideof
thisthickbushaccordingtothema”saidPete“Somewherein
this“jungle”weshouldfindaspottomakeacampthatwillbe
outofsight”hecontinued
Laying their bikes down, the children looked around. Billy
dropped t the ground-he had spied an interesting insect. Looking
up he saw a hole in the tangle of shrub. Rapid like a rabbit he
darted through, tumbling into a clearing around the base of a
huge tree. Overhead the spreading leafy branches almost
blocked the light.
“Hey!RobbiePete-comehere!SeewhatI’vefound”hecalled
Robyn and Pete joined Billy. They stared up into the massive
branches.
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