Domestic dispute in Guilford, Victoria.

By Patrick Beggs

Fear spreads as sixty years of good health comes to an end.

The Yarrayne Tree sprouted after a summer food 500 years ago. In its lifespan it has endured periods of food, re and drought. The past 60 years has seen the trunk in good health, despite the Guilford region going through a period of considerable environmental, agricultural and social change.

  The Yarrayne or  Big Tree  can be found at the intersection of Fryers St and Ballarat St in Guilford, Victoria.

The Yarrayne or Big Tree can be found at the intersection of Fryers St and Ballarat St in Guilford, Victoria.

However, these changes are now catching up with the Yarrayne Tree. The limbs are feeling the pressure of the changing climate. With no certainty of the times to come, the branches of today live in constant fear that they will drop o .

Knowing only stories of drops and falls of the past, the period of good health has placed the young limbs in a state of blind ignorance. The Burrah family tease the branches, leaving the limbs shivering, “the moving soils will swallow you whole if you drop, don’t let go, hold onto your trunk. Hold on.”

The clambering Goanna passes on its

taunts as it moves through the bush, “the moving soils below will swallow you whole, mind you don’t fall!”

The fear is played upon the outstretching limbs, a fear that one day they will fall away and become nothing, forgotten.

The Yarrayne Trunk is wise in her age saying little to quieten the fears of her limbs, waiting for the time when her branches can grow to listen.

One limb in particular has been growing large in its fear of the great fall, one of the twin branches that sprouted in the yearsof good health. One grew to the west, and one to the east, and both enjoyed a carefree youth. But as they have grown older, the westward facing branch has grown paranoid that the eastern branch has access to more nutrients; “can you feel that Eastie’s getting bigger? Can you hear her growing?”.

Whispers have become truths for the ignorant one.

Westie is getting worried. His rants to his neighbour Wattle, the tree next door, are getting more frequent. Wattle a friendly fast growing bright tree is nearing his prime, who sprung into life 15 years ago

and is hoping for 15 more. He generously lends his limbs to Westie as a soundboard for his worries, o ering advice when he can. Westie’s rants have been getting more frequent and drastic of late.

“Old Easty’s been holding n hoggin’ that nutrient again, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I keep asking Trunk to throw some of that good nutrient my way, but I just keep getting my usual pulse. You know, nothing to go further with. I can’t progress. I hear that bastard’s been ourishing on the other side”

“You got ears everywhere do you?”

“Nobody’s been speaking to me but you, Wattle. I hear things and sense things you know, I’ve got connections to things n them Burrah family they be squawking like no tommorra.”

“Don’t listen to them silly buggers, they’re always that side when the grass be getting grey, at least as long as I’ve been here, good grubs that side I’ve heard. It’s hot over here, I’m drying out, but it’s the end of summer Westie”

“Yeah I can see that but I’m worried Wattle, I’m scared old Easty’s gettin’ too

big. Every time that southerly wind kicks through, all I hear is a thousand leaves rustling away. That bugger’s gettin bigger and bigger. He don’t think I can hear, but I can hear, I can hear him growing.

“Change is in the air Westie, don’t go blaming the other branches, have a good look around. ”

“Don’t go doubting my senses Wattle. I’ve got reason to worry. Ya hear the drought’s just around the corner, n you know what that means? Old Westie here, cut o completely, left to fall by the wayside, to become food for the moving soils!”

“Ohh Westie, you best be watching that re you’re starting inside yourself, that’s all I’m warning. I’ve seen branches explode just from thinking such thoughts n I’ve only been here a coupla years.”

Westie caught in a worry net of lies, threaded by the needle of fear, is weavinga lonely deathbed for himself. Hopefully Wattle will learn to de ect Westie’s paranoia as noise and pay no more attention.

The Yarrayne or Big Tree can be found at the intersection of Fryers St and Ballarat St in Guilford, Victoria.

The Yarrayne Tree sprouted aftera summer ood 500 years ago. In its lifespan it has endured periods of ood, re and drought. The past 60 years has seen the trunk in good health, despite the Guilford region going through a period of considerable environmental, agricultural and social change.

However, these changes are now catching up with the Yarrayne Tree. The limbs are feeling the pressure of the changing climate. With no certainty of the times to come, the branches of today live in constant fear that they will drop o .

Knowing only stories of drops and falls of the past, the period of good health has placed the young limbs in a state of blind ignorance. The Burrah family tease the branches, leaving the limbs shivering, “the moving soils will swallow you whole if you drop, don’t let go, hold onto your trunk. Hold on.”

The clambering Goanna passes on its

taunts as it moves through the bush, “the moving soils below will swallow you whole, mind you don’t fall!”

The fear is played upon the outstretching limbs, a fear that one day they will fall away and become nothing, forgotten.

The Yarrayne Trunk is wise in her age saying little to quieten the fears of her limbs, waiting for the time when her branches can grow to listen.

One limb in particular has been growing large in its fear of the great fall, one of the twin branches that sprouted in the yearsof good health. One grew to the west, and one to the east, and both enjoyed a carefree youth. But as they have grown older, the westward facing branch has grown paranoid that the eastern branch has access to more nutrients; “can you feel that Eastie’s getting bigger? Can you hear her growing?”.

Whispers have become truths for the ignorant one.

Westie is getting worried. His rants to his neighbour Wattle, the tree next door, are getting more frequent. Wattle a friendly fast growing bright tree is nearing his prime, who sprung into life 15 years ago

and is hoping for 15 more. He generously lends his limbs to Westie as a soundboard for his worries, o ering advice when he can. Westie’s rants have been getting more frequent and drastic of late.

“Old Easty’s been holding n hoggin’ that nutrient again, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I keep asking Trunk to throw some of that good nutrient my way, but I just keep getting my usual pulse. You know, nothing to go further with. I can’t progress. I hear that bastard’s been ourishing on the other side”

“You got ears everywhere do you?”

“Nobody’s been speaking to me but you, Wattle. I hear things and sense things you know, I’ve got connections to things n them Burrah family they be squawking like no tommorra.”

“Don’t listen to them silly buggers, they’re always that side when the grass be getting grey, at least as long as I’ve been here, good grubs that side I’ve heard. It’s hot over here, I’m drying out, but it’s the end of summer Westie”

“Yeah I can see that but I’m worried Wattle, I’m scared old Easty’s gettin’ too

big. Every time that southerly wind kicks through, all I hear is a thousand leaves rustling away. That bugger’s gettin bigger and bigger. He don’t think I can hear, but I can hear, I can hear him growing.

“Change is in the air Westie, don’t go blaming the other branches, have a good look around. ”

“Don’t go doubting my senses Wattle. I’ve got reason to worry. Ya hear the drought’s just around the corner, n you know what that means? Old Westie here, cut o completely, left to fall by the wayside, to become food for the moving soils!”

“Ohh Westie, you best be watching that re you’re starting inside yourself, that’s all I’m warning. I’ve seen branches explode just from thinking such thoughts n I’ve only been here a coupla years.”

Westie caught in a worry net of lies, threaded by the needle of fear, is weaving a lonely deathbed for himself. Hopefully Wattle will learn to detect Westie’s paranoia as noise and pay no more attention.