by Anna Tambour

The whole town sucked in such a big breath, a fly would of clutched its throat gasping. Would Pococurante raise a sweat to stay alive? We waved flies away with more effort. Yet at a flick of his wrist, grown men ducked. Dad said a word he shouldn’t of in mixed company, but nobody cared.

Astride the town’s great river red gum on that blazing day in February, Pococurante didn’t defy death. He humiliated it.

When finally he landed head up, feet exploding dust, I cheered like I never did before, nor since. Dad made strange sounds like rain hitting dry ground. He was crying! And he wasn’t alone.

Smooth as a cold beer, Pococurante passed through the crowd and down the street, the gold letters on his shirt-back slithering.

The next morning I asked Dad, “What’s Pococurante mean?”

He must of been thinking for breakfast, because he answered right off. “The god of thunder, I reckon.”


Back to the Excerpts