A Bad Banksia Man: May Gibbs remembered


I remember a book from my childhood, May Gibb’s Australian classic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, which featured a gaggle of “gumnut people” who wore gumtree (eucalyputs) nuts for hats, and the lady gumnuts wore gum blossoms for skirts; their lives were helped and hindered by various native creatures, but the bane of their existence were the fearsome Banksia Men, who were the story’s villains.

It’s truly a wonder I can look at a Banksia now without shuddering – or at least, I could until I spied this particularly anthropomorphised specimen today in a nearby State Forest. Actually, it reminds me of a Chinese dragon – can you see it too?

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