Look down. You’ll find one by a trail if it’s from a gum tree. Or maybe you’re in luck and walking by a creek where the wind has blown so hard, it’s dropped a branch from a willow; perhaps a week ago. Take your time. It’s important. There’s no rush nor greater decision.
Make sure it snaps from the branch. Dead; but not drained of life’s juices. Bend it and check its tensile strength. If the bark crumbles away, but the stick doesn’t break, it’s a keeper. Take all that bark off so it gleams. Swish it through the air, slice and dice the universe and listen as your stick cuts it to pieces. Hold it under your arm ala Hitler or was it Himmler and goose step 50 paces whilst saluting like a Nazi. Feel the power in that stick. I know it can be frightening. Now brandish it. It’s a sword. You’re armed. You’ve been weaponized. They’re all around you, but they know nothing of your skill. Role to the ground cutting at the tendons of their ankles. Leap to your feet and on to that stump. Take the high ground. Command it. It’s yours. Find an ants’ nest and dig them out with all the mercy of a spider. Root them out and lay them to waste. When you see those little white things scattered from here to kingdom come, you can rest. They won’t be regrouping anytime soon. Take a walk. Trail your stick behind you so that it makes snake tracks in the gravel, raising red dust as the end sharpens. Now you really are dangerous. Prod your brother if he’s there and see what he makes of it. Get ready to run or fight; it’s up to you. You’ve got a stick. Or maybe your brother will grab that stick and break it off in your hand. Or maybe, and this is most likely, he’s got a stick of his own. So, feel the sting as it whips your legs. See the welts redden instantaneously on the back of your hand as you defend with your sword. It hurts. Try not to whimper. Pain has its place among the firmament. Don’t back down. Fight back. Give him what for on his legs. Don’t get angry. Don’t disgrace yourself; you started it. Don’t lose your love for him. Find your heart. Know yourself. That’s what sticks are for.