That day, on the other side of the hill, we found four huge skulls. Brown with oil, the skulls lay in a neat row, identical in size; they were from the last great whale stranding. Behind them rose the burial mounds, fallen in where the innards had rotted, rib bones of the leviathans looking like strange plants poking out of the earth.
This place is where their carcasses end up. This is where the whales go when they have died in front of humans. They are towed to a boat ramp and craned onto a flatbed truck. There is no brine to smooth and support their perfect bodies. Sand sticks to their skin. People take photographs of the ungainly mess with mobile phones and then the whales are driven away from the sea forever.
From Whale, Daughter, by Sarah Toa.
Overland, issue 205, 2011.