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The Mulberry Tree
Kenneth J. Hill
...we ventured out to places further afield in search of adventure; places with interesting names like Canning Bridge, Deep Water Point, Bull Creek, Weir’s Paddock and Bateman’s Field. Within walking distance of Nan’s place were miles of bushland, large swamps and lakes, the Canning River and several permanent streams that flowed into Bull Creek. They were magical Sundays. Most of all I remember the amazing freedom we had...
The Sweetmans had worked out a signal to let the fishermen know when the inspector was on his way up the Canning River. The warning signal was two shotgun blasts. Nan Sweetman would load the double barrelled shotgun and the two girls, Amy and Doss, would carry it out to the bush block next door and place the butt on the ground and pull one trigger at a time. The shots could be heard several miles up the river.
A bloke with wild looking wispy hair got out of the ute and started striding down towards the jetty. He was wearing a red checked shirt, dirty grey pants rolled up to the middle of his shins and a pair of grubby old sand shoes with no socks. The shirt was unbuttoned and not tucked in to his trousers so that it flapped about behind him revealing a frayed piece of rope threaded through the belt loops and knotted in front below his belly button. As he advanced unsteadily down the bank he was waving his arms about and shouting like a maniac.
The Mulberry Tree spans the years 1920 to 1960 and is a rich exposition of places, practices and times past.
"I am half way through your book and just had to let you know how truly wonderful/fabulous, I think it is.
The descriptions you provide throughout conjure up very clearly your fantastic yesteryear. In parts your humour further embellishes your details – Trev has caught me several times, laughing in delight.
I have been totally immersed in the book since I started reading it yesterday and have had difficulty putting it down. What a terrific and invaluable family heirloom you have created." - Stephanie 20.12.2014
Kenneth J. Hill was born in 1944 and grew up in Como, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. His mother's family were early settlers in the district of Canning Bridge and a great deal of time was spent at their house on weekends. The Canning River was their playground and he, with his cousins, enjoyed a great deal of freedom to explore it. Kenneth's Grandparents’ house was a meeting place for their friends and relatives and he heard many interesting stories over the years.
Trained as a school teacher and after completing a Bachelor of Education at UWA, Kenneth taught in secondary schools for 35 years and primary schools for 10 years. With a love of literature and writing, retirement afforded the author the opportunity to record some of these stories.