A few weeks ago I made a huge error. In my rush to pack for the weekend I forgot the butter. Finding the silver lining, I thought I’d sell the weekend’s damper as ‘healthy damper’, made with just flour and beer (it’s no kale smoothie, I’m well aware).

www.westendmagazine.comAnd who would have thought – it was a huge hit. The damper cut easily and was perfect for sandwiches.

A week later and once more, there’s no butter. And this time there’s no beer either, since the remaining few were drunk the night before. I had no option but to go back to basics and make my first ever classic-style damper using just flour and water. Today I’m making a ‘super healthy’ damper, I said, not wanting to draw attention to the fact we were out of beer. And once more, it tasted great. I could never have predicted that.

That Sunday, as I was merrily experimenting with the damper, Matt and his friend undertook the most revolting task on The Sables to date. A dead, bloated kangaroo was floating in the dam, a few meters from the water’s edge. With a lot of gagging, laughing and general fussing about, the guys managed to fish it out, tie a rope around it and drag it away, using a four-wheel drive. They dragged it over to one of the many meat ant mounds, where we assumed the ants would devour it over time, maybe a month or so, taking care of the dirty work.

photo 1Another week on and as soon as we arrived at the farm, we drove straight over to the ant mound to investigate the progress. The entire bloody thing was gone – it was amazing. Just as I was on the verge of what can only be described as a genuine Mulder and Scully moment, we found a small piece of the roo’s fur. Followed by part of the skull, and more fur, before we found what remained of the carcass. Which stank. As the left hemisphere of my brain grappled for control over the more imaginative right hemisphere, which had quite frankly already bolted, we deduced it was the work of wild dogs.

Most people try to get rid of wild dogs. They shoot them. They bait them. We, on the other hand, feed them. Or so it seems. Although it wasn’t entirely on purpose, I’m so glad nature took that particular course. The roo was absolutely putrid and honestly, was doing nothing for camp morale. But the poor dogs must have had a terrible stomach ache and I can’t help but feel a little guilty about that. Next time I’ll leave a few of Lady’s dog biscuits. And a water bowl (who knows what that dead roo has done to the water quality of the dam).