A Christmas Diamond Creek - December 23, 1888
Forty two degrees in the shade and not a snowman’s chance in hell that the town of Diamond Creek would be having a white Christmas.
Cards wilted on mantelpieces across the Shire—scenes of reindeer knee-deep in powder and St Nicholas cracking icicles from his beard. Eggnog curdled on kitchen tables and turkeys panted under washing lines. If it had to be Christmas then it would have to be different.
‘Who will tell the children?’ asked the local mums.
Who will look into their gluey eyes and say, ‘Santa’s not coming. Too bloody hot?’
December 24. Forty five degrees. Corellas fell from trees into the patient mouths of Jack Russell terriers. The paddocks crackled. Out past the farm shed something was stirring…
Down by the creek. Up the hill and across the grasslands. The sounds of knitting needles and clanking tins. The Country Women’s Association said, ‘We got this. Diamond the Cow—extreme makeover.’
Late that night, when all good children were tucked up in bed, with Horlicks on their breaths and train-sets on their minds, Diamond came soft-stepping through the dirt streets of Diamond Creek. Her golden horns shone in the moonlight. Diamantés glittered on her flanks. Her tiara and earrings tinkled
gently like sleigh-bells.
The village woke in the morning to find presents at the foot of chimneys. Glasses of milk were untouched, but Anzac biscuits and brandy had disappeared. The children analysed the hoofprints on the sun-cured lawns. ‘Reindeer,’ they said. ‘Definitely.’
And as Diamond slept through the morning and afternoon heat, rolled oats on her lips and brandy on her breath, the good folk of Diamond Creek embraced a new Christmas tradition.
Credit: Neil Grant.