Finally I am allowed to help the women dig for roots and bulbs, pick berries, gathering foodstuffs. Fudging that I could help feed family. Close to the shoreline Yindi spotted ghosts on a large canoe with posts at sea. Our elders grouped us together for safety whilst they sent the fastest runner to fetch our men. They would not be happy to have their hunting interrupted but this was a fearful sight.          

While huddled we saw smaller pods move out from the large one. Like ants leaving their nest and they were heading for our shore. Fear had our elders trembling but us younger ones were more curious. We tried creep closer to see every detail but our elders clutched us protectively.                      

Our men arrived just as the small pods beached. Warrior wariness creased their brows as they stood alert and deadly proud. Ready to protect us from these ghosts coming out of the sea. The men had never seen such a thing in their life either so I wondered if they felt as brave as they looked. We were ordered to crouch by the bog and be still. A fearful hush pervaded as we waited to see what the ghosts would do.

Then the ghosts sighted our men standing with woomeras and spears ready. They too held sticks that had no sharp end. That boosted our confidence, if they didn’t carry spears they were not here to fight. So as they climbed towards us our leader warned them off and threw his spear. One raised his stick, there was such a loud noise that it made us howl. Not a spear but a thrower of some kind, something came out of that stick and vanished into the void quicker than our spears.

As the ghosts continued to climb we noted that they were wrapped like winter, yet this was summer. Not in skins like we used but multi coloured skins we didn’t know. So much to take in while our fear and wonder were still strong.

They veered off, not coming directly towards us now that we’d boldly ordered them to leave. They climbed a hillock with a long stick, not a spear or a paddle, and dug it deep into our land. At that moment we all felt our hearts rip. They were searching for yams too. Then they hauled a big red blue and white flapping thing on top of that stick and we knew it was a dangerous sign.

A selected group of warriors and elders approached to see what the ghosts wanted. But the ghosts raised their blunt spears and shouted at them. Our men said the ghosts babbled gibberish, that they couldn’t speak, not even a drawl.

If they couldn’t speak they must be pretty stupid. But why have they come in their pods and what do they want of us? We wondered about their ominous presence …


this was a writing prompt …
tell about an historical event from the point of view of someone who would not have traditionally documented that history in less than 500 words.

Captain Cook’s Landing written from a POV of a young First Nation girl … now called Invasion or Survival Day by our First Nation Peoples – January 26th Botany Bay, or Australia Day by the white invaders …


  1. Wow, the picture of the blue of the sea is amazing. I live over five hundred km from the sea, so I miss this view.
    A great story with ghosts in the background.
    Cordials I send you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have put it down so well Kate. Exactly as it would have been. Maybe pod is a strange word but I couldn’t think of an easier way to describe the sailing ship and row boats as they would have seen them 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks Brian, your comment means a lot … I could only think they would describe things in terms of their culture … those row boats would not have looked like their canoes carved out of tree trunks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • much thanks, there is a long ranging dispute over using that date as australia day … when it’s the date of invasion and massive genocide! The first oz day was held on July 7th, no idea how or why it got changed but it needs to be changed asap!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate, your writing took me there. I felt as confused and afraid as the native people must have felt. This story can be adapted to other moments when Europeans come in contact with the Aztecs, Incas, and Native Americans.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. (Pass the tissues, please) What a powerful important heart-touching write, SweetKate! You have helped us see through their eyes and feel their emotions.
    The world should always hear from the side that is put down, then often silenced and forgotten. We need to hear their side. But too often we never do. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks Kritika, it is a well documented moment in history when the British landed and claimed the land was uninhabited … yet they interacted with the locals that day and often saw them from their ship

      Liked by 2 people

  5. We used to be under the Spanish rule for over a hundred years ..and growing up all good things were taught about them by our school history teachers..our history books were very kind of them ..except for a few…and this story reminds of the novel written by our national here, Dr Jose Rizal…a novel about how our country and our forefathers were abused by our Spanish colonizers and for that he was shot to death.

    Liked by 2 people

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