Saturday, July 26, 2008
Bettongs and Potoroos
William Buckley, transported convict, escaped and lived in the bush among the Wathaurung people of Western Victoria (Australia) for thirty-two years. On re-entering white society at the splendidly named Indented Head he overcame by now severe difficulties with the English language to dictate an account of his adventures to a missionary, George Langthorne. Read more here.
From the notes to The Life and Adventures of William Buckley:
1. Probably pigface (Mesembryanthemum).
2. Probably the call of the yellow-bellied glider, a kind of possum which possesses one of the loudest calls of any marsupial.
3. The name literally means ‘returned from the dead’.
4. In fact, witchetty grubs are delicious at any time.
5. Bettongs and potoroos.
6. This is a rather garbled account of the koala.
8. The identity of this red-spotted double-headed serpent remains a mystery.
9. Langhorne’s writing is indecipherable here.
10. This account confuses the echidna and the wombat.