Seven weeks. That’s how long it had been since Rod had a soda. Buffalo blood had gotten him through the dehydration of the first two days and since then, sandy water. It wasn’t so bad though, he’d been in rough spots before. He’d have preferred the company of a woman rather than his two dogs but such was his predicament. Keeping them from the crocs that sunk his boat seemed to occupy half his time.
140 miles. That’s how close the nearest outpost was. Rod knew it was far, not how far, but far enough for him to know that he wasn’t getting soda anytime soon. Or anything with sugar. Anything sweet. He leaned back against the base of a skinny gum tree and watched the bees hovering over the small tins of water he’d filled for the dogs.
Eleven bees. That’s how many made up the tiny pile by his bare feet. Each one of them was missing at least one leg. While staring tediously at the insects trying to steal a drink from the tins, Rod had had an epiphany. Pinching another bee against the ground, he picked up a long string he’d carefully extracted from his t-shirt and making a loop, slowly fed it around a splayed leg and pulled it taut. The bee buzzed clumsily off as he let go, dragging the string across the ground.
“Aha!” Rod blurted, “Sweet honey at last!”
And then he heard the unmistakable sound of cowbells.
Twice famous. That’s what Rodney Ansell became. The first time as the inspiration for Crocodile Dundee after the story of his rescue in the Australian Outback became international news. The second time on August 3, 1999, when broke, addicted to amphetamines, and on the run, he was shot and killed after murdering a policeman.