A small bloke in an outback pub
Not very long ago
Told a story stranger far than any wild yarn from a bar
Where beer and ‘porkies’ flow.
Droving cattle months on end
They’d reached a water hole
A chance to wash away the dust that formed a dry and scaly crust
The colour of brown coal
He fought through scrub to top the bank
And sneaked a quick look roundHe tossed off all his filthy clothes, dived in the hole with eyes tight closed
But then he heard a sound.
It was a fearful, guttural noise
Like something gargling rocks.
He spied a duck upon the bank, attracted by a smell so rank
That drifted from his socks.
Before the bloke could count to two
The duck plucked up a sock
It climbed the bank not looking back, then vanished with a muffled quack
To go and join its flock.
The bloke erupted from the hole In nothing but his skin.
Intent on capturing his foe, he didn’t think to glance below –
The stock camp had come in.
In awe they watched him rush about
Stark white and dripping wet.
As naked as his day of birth, a nature’s child of Mother Earth
He hadn’t seen them yet.
But then he pounced and disappeared
In grass a meter high.
The duck let out a plaintive quack, as slowly their mate dragged it back
And gave a victory cry.
His back was turned towards the boys
His bum white as a cloud.
He heard an unexpected sound and cautiously he swiveled round
Then turned beet red – and bowed.
What else could any small bloke do?
His mates all had his measure
In a lot more ways than one, now they had seen his skinny bum
A memory they would treasure.
And the duck you well may ask?
He landed in the pot.
Although the stew was hard to chew, what could a hungry stock camp do But polish up the lot?
© Val Wicks
You’ve heard about the Drovers cook
But one young lout had eyed the pots A rather brash young fool Then one day snagged the biggest one And used it for a stool.
The camp cook lowered his shaggy head
Now some folks don’t learn lessons fast
And some are just plain dumb.
The lad still sought the biggest pot
On which to park his bum.
Eventually, the cook’s worm turned
He grabbed the biggest pot
And flung it in a roaring fire Til it blushed red and hot.
The pot had lost its fiery glow
When all the men walked in.
The old cook dropped his head again
To hide his wicked grin.
|The lad heaped food upon his plate|
And filled his mug with tea.
Then settled on the biggest pot,
With plate upon his knee.
It seemed the world stood still that night
And silence reigned supreme.
Until the air was torn to shreds
With agonizing screams!
Plate and mug winged through the dark
The boy soared to his feet.
He danced and made a mournful howl
And slapped his glowering seat.
He plunged into the cattle trough
To put the fire out.
No one looked and no one laughed
At the poor, bone-headed lout.
And what about the cook you ask?
Well, he raised his shaggy head.
His belly shook with soundless mirth
'Til finally he said:
“I hope that that’ll learn ya mate,
You don’t mess with me gear.
I’ve warned ya a hunnerd times before
‘n I thought I’d made it clear.
But nah, you wouldn’t listen mate,
From ear to ear you’re bone
So let me say it one more time…
Leave me bloody pots alone!”
The cow’s point of view is well published
When AI comes under discussion.
But there isn’t much pull when it comes to the bull
To our defence no one comes rushing.
I’ve lived down at Wacol for eons
Bred to give of my best without fear
But it's most disconcerting to find I’ve been flirting
With a fat hairy
My shed is kept clean, almost sterile.
My rations are balanced and lush
But now listen here – this thing with the steer
Is enough to make any bull blush!
Sometimes I have wonderful dreams
I’m thousands of miles from here.
By the river I drowse while surrounded by cows
Far away from the Hereford Steer.
But hark, my collector is coming
Dressed in overalls for his protection.
If by some mishap he is covered with crap
As I fearlessly feign forced affection.
My future, I fear, is uncertain.
Will I be entombed in this place?
Will I ever receive a much longed for reprieve
From that fat hairy Hereford’s face?
© Val Wicks
We sometimes called him Tin Pot Brian
Bush bred and born and christened
And when he spoke on beef affairs
You pricked your ears and listened.
He knew the ‘hows’ of breeding cows
He knew each beast he bred.
And even though he judged at shows
It didn’t swell his head.
But unbeknownst to all us folk
Our Brian could run a bit.
This talent kept well under wraps
He never spoke of it.
Then came a day along the way
Brian had a steer to show
And while it never looked like much
The blighter had some go!
At breaking in, he bucked like sin
And tried to climb the rails.
He very nearly broke his neck
But he was tough as nails.
His neck got sore and rubbed quite raw
Did he accept his fate?
He stopped the rot, but in his eye
We caught a glimpse of hate
Steer judging came, Brian’s chance for fame
The crowds had filled the stands
It seemed Brian’s steer was half asleep
And putty in his hands.
With tension tight, expecting flight
Amazed at his good luck
Brian got the steer up to the ring
Without a single buck!
But luck won’t last; it's meant to pass
And so it did that day.
The steer erupted from his nap
And bolted clean away.
He crossed the ground at speed of sound
With one thing on his mind
To break Brian’s grip, light out for home
And leave poor Brian behind.
Right or wrong, our Brian hung on
Raced with him to and fro.
One arm looked like a windmill sail
When the pump rod’s just let go!
His legs thrashed hard with every yard
He strove to keep his feet
Then one last buck and methane blast
And Brian’s steer was beat!
Into the night tales of Brian’s plight
Expanded with each beer
And none of us will soon forget
How Brian ‘cowed’ his steer.© Val Wicks
A new governess is coming – the bush kids paled with fright
|It took a while to figure out but then she realised|
A fresh cow’s nose hung from the string, it hadn’t even dried
The kids had cut it off the beast their Dad had killed before
And hung it in the teacher’s room, then hid behind the door
The governess heard a scraping sound and realised what was up
She carefully took the cow’s nose down and put it in a cup.
She washed it, sprinkled it with salt then towards the noise she turned
Cut off a bit and swallowed it-her stomach fairly squirmed!
A sound of hurried scrambling came from behind the door
Little Ed came staggering out and fainted on the floor
Young Sally cried and scuttled past then stood with shoulders hunched
Without a sound she swiveled round and threw up all her lunch.
Our governess had won the toss but paid an awful price
The contents of her stomach boiled and came up once or twice
Now years have passed and as she sits to watch the sunset’s glows
She often thinks about that day when she ‘won by a nose’.
© Val Wicks