The area around Angledool is popular for opal prospecting. The humorous poem “The Diggers’s Luck” concerns a prospector who dreams one day of “striking it rich” and thereby becoming an opal king. The many shafts and depressions all over this area make ideal breeding places for mosquitoes – big mosquitoes.
Away out on the Narran Where the whirlwinds rush and rattle Through the mulga on the ridges, And the big mosquitoes sing, There dwells an opal digger, Who, if pluck may win the battle, Will some day be referred to As the Narran Opal King. The hottest day in summer Finds him picking, picking, picking, And shovelling the dirt up, And his eyes they never tire Of looking out for colours, And his tongue is worn with licking At the different sorts of metal When in search of specks of fire. One evening very weary To his lone camp he was going When he found a lump of something - Oh! Those ever watchful eyes - A dark green, cloudy substance, Not a sign of colour showing, But the digger said, “I’ll test it, As it may contain a prize.” So on his find the digger Then a thorough licking started; He licked it even cleaner Than a cat would lick a bone. He licked, and licked, and licked it Till it in the centre parted, When he found, not fiery opal But a little quondong stone. Then a fit of spitting seized him, And I guess he really meant it, When he prayed to all the powers that be To strike that emu dead. He threw his well licked find to - Well a hundred yards he sent it, And a jackass burst out laughing In the mulga over head.
- Read the article Jim Harper of Mulga Land by Jim Low