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Australia is. . .

First time . . . it is the very first time, the magical first time a kangaroo hops across a Queensland field, a brown koala sits astride his eucalyptus tree, looking down with bear-like impassivity; it is the thrilling shock of Sydney's Opera House soaring for the first time, a fairy penguin at the water's edge of Phillip Island, and the first kookaburra balanced on a country wire. This first time electrifies and burns a memory more clear than any souvenir stand transparency; the first time's poignancy is only once, but, oh, that time wears well.

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