First appeared in Andromeda Spaceways.
I could be wrong, but I think Ian McHugh's going places. His works have an uncommon potency and vibrancy. This one revisits aboriginal mythology--that of the bunyip. The family has a beloved friend, Baba, who advises them and appears to be a Muslim of his own branding, including wards and other spells to help protect the family. The young narrator offers mice to the bunyip in exchange for a pale of water. But happens if the lid is loose and the mice escape?
The melancholy low-horror tale seems to suggest that sadly Baba doesn't know everything he needs to know.