“Do we have to walk the long way Dad … Can’t we just cut through”?
“There’s one good reason son” … he pointed … “and he’s got his eye on you”!
I jumped up on the slip rail and eyed the big black bull
and commonsense overwhelmed me … I aint no fool!

So we walked … and walked … then walked some more
following the fence to the old water bore.
The sun shone down upon our Akubra heads
and we swatted flies wishing we were dead!
Then we took a right and headed for shade
where we knew there was a cold beer for Dad … and for me a cool lemonade.
We passed the time telling many a tale
followed on each occasion with another ale!

The sun finally sank in the west and the heat of the day had gone
and so we bid farewell and turned our thoughts to the long walk home.
We dusted ourselves off … slowly rising from our squatted seat
Dad let out a mighty groan …staggered … he’s not too steady on his feet.
His body aint what it used to be so I was surprised to hear
“Do we have to walk the long way round … hey son grab our gear”!
I think it was the grog talkin … it wasn’t like me Dad
To suggest taking a risk with the big black bull … he surely must be mad!
“He won’t see us in the dark” … what’s worse we won’t see him
I think his thoughts were clouded some … his brain a little dim!
One thing he seemed to not consider is the moon was round and full
and here we were embarking on a path past a bloody big black bull!
We slipped under the wire and walked and walked some more
and I must admit as time passed by I forgot … I could get gored!
We were feeling pretty happy, we thought we’d beat the odds,
the moon was shining down on us and surely so was God!

Then suddenly I heard it … a snort … and a scraping sound …
then the branches of the wattle snapped off and thundered to the ground.
Dad was right I couldn’t see him …
but I could hear him in the night …
I damn near wet my knickers I was shaking with sheer fright!
“Run for it son … get going … don’t stop to look or take a breath,
cause if you damn well falter its going to be our death”.
We ran like we were scalded … or maybe like we’d been shot …
and all the time the bull was coming …
I could sense him … I could feel his breath … and it was bloody hot!

“Dive son … dive under” … our bodies hit the ground
We both let out a scream … a blood curdling sound!
The dust filled my nostrils … as we slid under the fence
Then we sobbed our hearts out … no kidding things were tense!
“We did it Dad … we beat him” … we were snickering at our near defeat
while the black bull dug his heels in …
snorting and pounding the ground with his feet.
We must have only got there by the skin of our hide
Then we turned around and faced him … our fingers raised up high!!

The next day was for braggin’ for telling all the crew …
and the story kept expanding … some stretching of the truth!
… Until one bloke challenged us to take him to the scene
to prove that we were heros … to the spot where we had been.
We walked up to the fence line and pointed “this is it”
“This is where we slid under and …. oh sh.t!
Look son … take a gander … we damn well nearly died
There were no slip rails, no palings … or no bloody wire!

© Beverley Woodman (2010)


Bev Woodman

Joined April 2008

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 32

Artist's Description

You will have to pardon my language in this piece but it is necessary to add flavour to the scene that unfolded in this story handed down throughout our family over the years. My father-in-law worked on many sheep properties during his long career as a wool classer and often told a similar story of cutting through a paddock one night only to be chased by the resident bull. He managed to slide under the fence only to find the next day that there was no wire. The bull luckily knew his boundaries and didn’t proceed past that point … luckily!! We have often wondered if the story was true or if Dad had made it up … I’ll leave that to you to decide … I know my preference!

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