A Timely Fable For Kevin Rudd


Once upon a time, in the far-away Land of Oz, there lived a wax-worm eating Bearded Dragon. He would puff out his spiky throat pouch and talk a lot about working families.

One day, in the auspicious Year of Elections, he gathered his inner circle of Lesser Dragons and delivered a message of hope for Great Things. In the last line of his speech, the dragon said, "We will travel to the city of churches and meet with our constituents." His words sent the Lesser Dragons into their characteristic position when intimidated: they flattened their bodies and stood erect with mouths gaping.

The message went out across the land. "Come and tell us your concerns. We will be in the burrow of a Minor Dragon who needs our help in this Year of Elections."

The citizens came from far and wide to see their Bearded Dragon and Lesser Dragons. They cared little for his wax-worms but they were VERY concerned about his silence on the matter of water in their fair land. It was dry — very dry — made that way by decades of mismanagement.

Some of the citizens requested an audience with their leader and inner circle. Before entering the burrow they were subjected to thorough security checks. Once inside they were fed small things and subjected to bad music. They waited and waited for the dragons to arrive.

Other citizens stood outside the burrow. They stood for hours in the special space set aside by their leader for those who wished to protest his regime. He was a careful dragon. He paid attention to every detail and took care that the burrow was well protected.

The citizens waited at the burrow entrance. The Leafy Sea Dragons were faint. They needed fresh water. They lay down.

The citizens waited.

And they waited.

They had prepared a song for the Bearded Dragon, a clever little number to the tune of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. They had a chant to make it easy for him to remember their message: "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Save the Murray." The ReedWarblers came along and sang more lyrical songs of the universality of connection. It was a jolly gathering.

They all waited.

They carried empty buckets to demonstrate they needed water. They held their banners high.

And still they waited.

After several hours they learned from the protectors of the burrow entrance that the Bearded Dragon was already down inside the burrow with his Lesser Dragons. The Dragons had a burrow entrance just around the corner from where they had corralled the concerned citizens and Leafy Sea Dragons.

Now the patient citizens were appalled.

Their mothers had taught them to be punctual.

Their grandmothers had taught them to be punctual.

It was very rude to be late for important occasions. It was an insult. Bad manners were not to be tolerated in the Land of Oz.

They all knew the fate of Bearded Dragons with bad manners. Larger goannas preyed on them. It was not pretty.

The Year of Elections could be a less than auspicious year. There are many predators in this dry land and they want answers.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.