The big old buck was nibbling pick, still wet with morning dew
and by the scars upon his frame he’d seen a year or two.
His ears were twitching nervously alert should danger sound,
then paused to scratch his itching hide, before he took a bound.
When suddenly he sat erect, stood guard and fixed his stare
toward the creek and barbed-wire fence as something rustled there.
A Labrador’s forbidding frame emerged beneath the fence,
to spot the ‘roo and sense some fun. The buck stood stiff and tense.
At first the young dog raced straight in, though met an index claw –
retreated, paused, then rubbed its nose. I guess now a touch sore.
It’s next move was to circle ‘round – confuse the big old ‘roo,
but that old buck was full of wile, he knew just what to do.
Then bit by bit he hopped towards the dam not far away,
intent on retribution for disturbing him that day.
The Labrador devoid of brain was lured by that ‘roo’s skill
and unaware – how on his ground – the big old buck could kill.
Hind-quarters deep within the dam he paused to stop a while,
ensuring this delusional dog was hoodwinked by his guile.
Amid the constant barking he just watched his ‘circling foe,
then moved a little deeper, till his midriff did not show,
He’d lured the dog out to a depth where it now had to swim
and waited for the stupid mutt to draw in close to him.
From time to time he issued forth a hissing to the dog,
but that young mong’ just barked some more and bobbed ‘round like a log.
‘Twas then the canine made a blue by drawing in too near –
an opportunity not lost – for it became quite clear,
the big old buck had ‘bided time, then grabbed him with both claws,
determined he would drown the dog, held down by entrenched claws.
With desperation its sole chance, the dog was resolute
to spare itself a wat’ry grave and with an absolute
determination sought to use its last remaining strength
and break free from that vice like grip, then put the ‘roo at length.
The moment came for that young dog, as somehow he broke free
and with its waning energy swum frantically to flee;
away from certain death it seemed – the moment but a blur,
but never to forget, I’m sure, that fighting frame of fur.
So all you young pups gain from this, for when you want some fun
don’t seek to take us old blokes on – you’re sure to come undone.
For wisdom comes with length of years and hard knocks on the way,
but learn from how this young dog erred. That’s all I’ve got to say.
From the Book You’re Joking – Milk in Billy Tea.
While waiting under my favourite cotton tree at the Homestead I observed the baby wallaroo Dawn had raised sitting on the lawn, ears twitching and alert for any sign of danger. This brought back to mind an incident I once observed on our property in Roma, concerning a black Labrador and an old buck roo. I figured there had to be a lesson in it somewhere.