After the case beginning in 1980 when a small child disappeared from a campsite in Central Australia, the line, always said with a thick Australian accent, “A dingo ate my baby!” became somewhat of a worldwide joke. Years afterwards, and to this day, Australians globally are bullied into saying that line with their most Australian lilt purely for the humour of non-Australians.
Though the thought of dingoes being able to eat children is quite ridiculous, I have a story, passed down from my mother, which validates Lindey Chamberlains claims that a dingo could, in fact, take and eat a baby.
I was about 2 years old when my younger sister and I were being dragged around Central Australia by our mother in a camper van. We were parked at a campsite in the desert one late afternoon and while mum was preparing dinner inside the camper van, my sister and I played together outside. Suddenly, snarling and snapping, with its teeth bared and drool splattering out, a Dingo…OK that’s a lie, I can’t actually remember details like that. However, a dingo did became a little too interested in my sister, taking her clothes into its mouth and dragging her away. Outraged upon the fact that my playmate was being taken away from me I began to cry, which alerted our mother.
Mum, wondering why I was suddenly tearing up, poked her head outside to see what the problem was. She explains to me now, that her heart leapt into her chest at the sight of her youngest child now metres away from her original position, and in the jaws of a wild dog. She flew out of the camper van, screaming with arms flailing, and scared the dog away before it had done any injuries.
I totally saved my sisters life that day, because I’m awesome like that. She is now forever in my debt.
Photo: TheGirlsNY from Brooklyn, NY (Dingo!) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons