She jerked her thumb in the general direction of the sister’s departure and said with a chuckle, “She thinks I’ve got a kangaroo loose in the top paddock.”
I looked at her blankly. “A what?”
She looked back at me in astonishment. “You know – sixty degrees in the water bag.”
When she saw that I was still looking at her uncomprehendingly she exclaimed in exasperation, “Young feller, don’t you know anythin’? A few bob short o’ the full quid … orf me flamin’ rocker, mate!”
Mrs Connie Element is one of a variety of people and animals Lachlan Ness encounters in this amusing story of his first year as a country parish minister, back in the 1960s, in the high country of northern New South Wales, Australia. There’s Father Fahey, the colourful Catholic priest of St Brendan’s, who was arrested for bag snatching, Ella “Opal Eye” Hobbs, Sam Hodges, the town crook, Emmy the Emu, and a host of others.
At the end, you will put this book down with a warm inner glow.
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Some readers’ comments
This book is one of those rare finds, a rich and genuine vein of homegrown Australian ecclesiastical humour, in the best tradition of Father Hartigan of “John O’Brien” fame.
The author has an obvious love for the wild Australian bush and the robust people who carve their living there… A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock is an hilariously funny book from a writer of great literary talent… the publishers claim that at the end you will put this book down with a warm glow. I read it, and I did! ITC
“A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock”
“This entertaining story tells the reader a lot about the “other side” of being a Minister of the Church – this calling is not just about preaching on Sunday, but involves a wide variety of interesting, sometimes amusing, sometimes sad, sometimes very stressful things that happen during the course of every week when the Minister is called out to be a pastoral carer, supporter, friend, guide or peace-maker to his flock. A great read! VERA PICKFORD.