The Courage of the Grey


Courage of the Grey

He looked a little warmer with a blanket on his hide.
but eyes just barely open though, the poor old grey he sighed.
“You’ve earned your oats this evening mate,” I spoke to him aloud.
“Today you showed real courage boy, I couldn’t feel more proud.”

The last good rains had been and gone and things were looking dry
as seasons now had all gone mad, though couldn’t figure why.
Our cows were showing signs of stress, their frames were looking poor.
We fed them hay and prayed a lot, but wished we could do more.

A creek, which was our boundary line, was now a bed of sand,
and who’d have guessed it ran last year and flooded o’er the land.
Two nights ago we heard the sound of thunder far away
and prayed it might now bring the rain we needed yesterday.

Reports came through of rain all right, in buckets to the north,
and creeks were full and coming down, flood warnings issued forth.
We had twelve hours to move the stock and seek some higher ground,
so grey and I we worked all day to see them safe and sound.

The Bungil creek rose evr’y hour and spread across our place,
a gully, which ran through the block, was flowing quite a pace.
My wife then cried, “Our milking cow, I cannot see her here,
she’s due to calve at any time, you’ll have to find her dear!”

My faithful friend, though wearisome, still faced the gully’s flow,
and worked the ridge along the creek and found the cow below.
The grey then flanked the stranded beast and goaded her to move
while sensing I demanded that he had something to prove.

The old cow’s time was plainly near; her gait was rather slow,
but all the while the grey pressed on and kept her on the go.
We reached the flowing gully, which was running at its peak,
and as she swam her bulging frame moved ‘tward the fence and creek.

His instinct was to swim between the ailing cow and fence
and as he pushed I was amazed at his resilience.
I clenched the monkey in my hand and clung beside the grey,
while crying out, “Keep pushing boy! We’ll win this little fray.”

The bobbing barbed wire came in sight; I saw each rusty prong,
but resolute the grey swam on and nudged the cow along.
With spirits raised and heads held high we all ignored the pain,
when finally our feet took hold of firm ground once again.

My wife was there to greet us as she’d watched on anxiously
and quite relieved to see us safe and hugged the grey and me.
The old cow had her calf that night, a ringer for its mum,
and now it seemed things might look up, instead of looking glum.

The cow would share her milk with us and I would surely bet,
our kids were pretty keen to make her calf the fam’ly pet
and as regards my faithful friend … just what more can I say,
I’m always proud to talk about … the courage of the grey.

From the Book A Muster of Verse and Yarns


  1. Merv,

    You are a Maestro Raconteur.
    You spin these tales with such heart and such
    rhythm. I am totally captivated. So glad you
    are here!

    The Grey is a true hero and much deserving of
    this fine tribute. Thank you for the pleasure of
    your work.



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