Continuing our tour of new stories from around the world, here's one from Australia.
First of all, it took me until I was well into my twenties to figure out what time it was in the Pacific zone when it's 9 PM here. And then, I had already started turning a little platinum around the temples by the time I got it through my noggin that when it's summer here, it's winter in Australia.
What helped me was the Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Australia" (Feb 19, '95), in which Bart called a kid in Australia to verify that water circling a drain down under went counterclockwise, as opposed to how it drains here. As many of us are. Many of the long-confusing tenets of Australian-American relations were cleared up that night.
So if you click on the story above, you will read how Simon Kruger (wasn't he the star of those Nightmare on Elm Street movies?), 7 years of age (guess not), wandered off from a family picnic and was picking flowers for his mom. He got lost, and a kangaroo came along. The kangaroo ate the flowers right out of the boy's hand, and then the boy and the kangaroo curled up and spent the night sleeping, with the boy kept warm by the kangaroo.
Simon's dad, Etienne Kruger, said that "God sent a kangaroo" for the boy, and that Simon would have the greatest story for show-and-tell back in school. I like that story and the dad's words. He said Simon was found the next morning, hauled up to safety, and came home for a shower, none the worse for his night in the woods.
Except that when he comes down to breakfast these days, he hops all the way.