Monday, November 15, 2010

The Drop Bears post

I am currently reading The Third Day, The Frost by John Marsden which is the third book in the Tomorrow series.

Here's the blurb:

Live what you believe in... die fighting for it.

The third day comes a frost... a killing frost.

The enemy spreads across the land, cold and relentless. They invade. They destroy. They kill.

Only the heroism of Ellie and her friends can stop them.

When hot courage meets icy death, who will win through?

The Third Day, The Frost is the third volume in the award-winning Tomorrow series.

When I was reading it this morning, I was struck by two thoughts.

One is that there are some books that you really shouldn't read the ending before you get to it (yes, I know that a fairy dies every time you do this, but what can I say, I can't help myself!)

The second thing was that I was wondering how certain Australianisms come across to people outside of Australia. For example, there was this whole section about drop bears on pages 14 - 15..

"I hope you know what you are doing, sitting under that tree."

"What for? "

"Well, this time of day, middle of the afternoon, that's when the drop bears get active."

"That's right," the other man said. "Shocking area for drop bears, this."

"I wouldn't sit under that tree for a million dollars," the first man said.

Terrible what those drop bears do. I've seen them take a bloke's face off. Those claws. Gawd, they'd give you the horrors."

"And you never see the one that gets you."

"That's the truth."

"What for, drop bears?" the boy asked.

I'd worked around a bit further, to where I could see his face. He was fidgeting anxiously, but trying to look untroubled.

"You don't know what drop bears are? Fair dink, don't they teach you blokes anything? Fancy sending a bloke to a place like this and not telling him about drop bears."

"They told you about sharks, didn't they?" the second man asked.

"Sharks, yes."

"And crocodiles?"

"Crocodiles, yes."

"And hoop snakes?"

The boy hesitated. "Hoop snakes, yes," he said after a moment.

"Well, I'll tell you what mate, I'd rather go fifteen rounds with a crocodile than have a drop bear land on my head."

"What for, drop bears?" the boy asked again. He was showing real nervousness now, standing up straighter against the motorbike and with increased alertness in his voice. The men stopped working and spoke to him directly.

"Mate," the first one said, with great seriousness, "it's none of my business if you end up wearing a drop bear for a hat, but if you want to keep that good looking face attached to your head, I wouldn't recommend you spend any more time under trees."

So, anyone know what a drop bear is?


  1. LOL -- I thought that was a great scene.

  2. I am assuming it is a bear that drops from a tree onto your head, but I have never even heard of this before, so I could be entirely mistaken! Very cool quote! You really got my attention!

  3. Uhh, should I reveal my 12 year old boy humor and guess POOP? Or not. Ahem.

  4. I've never heard of a drop bear and have no idea, though I'm guessing (now) that it isn't a bear at all -- in spite of the cute sign you posted.

  5. hazarding a guess ! A Kola that falls out of a tree and lands on you! lol :D

  6. HA! I love it! I'd never heard of drop bears before, but I just googled "drop bear" and came up with a Wikipedia article about the little guys. They might be my new favorite animal. What a fun post!

  7. I just ordered the first in this series and can't wait. Off to Google "drop bear"!

  8. I'm totally in the dark about what a drop bear is. Guess I'll have to ask around or risk great bodily harm.

  9. Haven't a clue but if I had to guess I would say koala bears? They look cute and cuddly but I thought I read somewhere they are vicious little buggers.

  10. Jenny, koalas can be a bit vicious.

    Cleemckenzie and Zibilee, the answer will be up on my blog tomorrow morning.

    Jenclair, I have thoroughly enjoyed the first three books in the series.

    Thanks Erin!

    Marshalslion, reminds me of many many (bad) childhood jokes about koalas falling out of trees.

    Not a bear in the same way that koalas aren't bears Bonnie?

    Cass, sure reveal away!

    BethF, I am glad the scene was in the book. It added a bit of well needed levity.

  11. We live in the bush and brought our kids up with the concept of Drop Bears and Bunyips. We even made up animal sounds telling the kids to listen out for them. We've always described Drop Bears as Koala like creature with a bit of 'mad cow' disease thrown in for good measure, not unlike the Andy Griffiths Killer Koalas from Outer Space lol.



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