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The Ballad of Rusty Rouse… 

The corner of Cave Guide Rusty Rouses’ eye twitched. He knew what it meant. He always knew.

Ever since a childhood accident when his tricycle unceremoniously met a truck carrying radioactive waste, his five senses have been heightened to that of a house cat.IMG_4038

One afternoon recently, while returning to the surface from stunning the mortals with one of his flamboyant yet educational cave tour, his eye began to twitch.


Above him on the Breathtakingly Suspended Deck (available for private functions, contact Mandy Mclaughlanmacnab) a small boy quietly wept, but to Rusty Rouses’ ears it was like the air raid sirens from the old country.

God created Rusty Rouse and from that template, the cheetah. So similar are the two.

Within seconds he was by the poor child’s side and through his knowledge of the language “Babble” he was able to translate. Ted Ted the child’s safety blanket had blown off the Amazing Suspended Deck and had landed in the doline. Somewhere.

Meanwhile with sweat beading on her brow from her exhaustive work behind the front counter, answering asinine questions and herding cats, Cave Guide Flo Stone felt the world stop spinning ever so briefly.

Something was wrong. Due to a childhood illness treated by radioactive calipers, her sense of other people’s wellbeing was heightened.

The sight of Rusty at the front counter with a twitching eye confirmed her fears.


After a quick debrief and a nod from the supervisor, the two cave guides leapt to challenge of Saving Private Ted (ted) like a pair of staffys to a blundstone boot.

So they went.

A hush had settled over the doline. All creatures held their breath as Cave Guides Rouse and Stone made their way through the unforgiving shrubbery in search of Ted Ted. A crowd had gathered on the Stupendous Suspended Deck and through the corner of Rustys twitching eye he made out the Sign of The Cross being performed by a few on lookers. Low murmuring could be heard by the intrepid Guides as the religious folk in the crowd prayed. The vigil had begun.


With grim determination House Cat Rouse pushed ahead deeper into the doline further than any cave guide had been, as Cat Herder Stone was side tracked by the need to hug a Karri.

Suddenly a high pitched “Over Here!” resonated throughout the doline, dropping birds from the skies, spiders from their webs and shattering the bond between human and tree. The sight of Rusty Rouse holding up the disgusting safety blanket bought tears of joy to Flo Stones eyes and that vomitus feeling to her jaw. She clenched.

An almighty cheer rose from the hundreds of spectators who had quietly gathered to witness this drama unfold. Rouse and Stone scrambled out of the doline brushing off skink guano and twigs from their uniforms, as a little boy wiped away tears from his grubby little cheeks which had now become chubby little cheeks because of his smile.

Cave Guides Rouse and Stone presented Ted Ted to the child who immediately plugged his face with it. Disgusting bile rose to Flo Stones lips at the sight of it.

Hugs, tears of happiness and a heartily sung ballad to Rusty Rouse written by an onlooker during the vigil, ended off the near tragic event nicely.

The doline was kind that day my friends, she can be a fickle mistress, but on that  one spring day she smiled lovingly on a little boy who had thought he had lost his only friend in the world. Ted Ted.