Thursday, August 20, 2009
“Ya ever had a fuck Yorky?”, said Kevin.
"Nah mate, I’m only 15. I doubt whether I'd git one in a brothel with a walletful of money."
We had a good laugh at this one.
"You'll have to come into town and stay at my place one night Yorky. I'll take ya down the main street after dark and introduce ya to the town bike."
"What's a town bike?"
"Not what mate, who? is more like it."
"OK, then who?"
"Who, is a young sheila that loves it. She's called the town bike because everybody rides her, Yorky. Don't ya git it mate?"
"I do now." I said. "But, I think I'll stick to walking until I git a ute."
"Yeh, that'll git ya a sheila, mate." he said with a smile.
After about an hour of joking and driving Kevin said to me, "We'll grease her up this time around Yorky. After I've finished dumping her I'll show ya how to grease her."
Once I became familiar with the header it only took me a few minutes to grease her, which I did while Kevin was emptying out the bin into the truck. Greased and emptied, we set off around the wheat paddock again.
"What's the matter?" said Kevin as I scratched away at my shoulders and the back of my neck.
"The wheat dust is making my skin itchy, mate."
"Yeh, you'll get itchy for the first couple of days, then after that you'll git used to it, mate. Wait till we start stripping the oats and barley. They're much worse than wheat mate."
"How long does it take to git used to that, Kevin?"
"Oh, once you've scratched all the skin off Yorky, you won't notice it anymore." he said with a grin.
Our days passed very much like that for about 8 weeks. One night as we were driving home, Digger said to me, "Grab the rifle off the back window will ya Yorky mate."
"No problem, mate." I said as I turned around to get it.
"There's a box of 22's in the glove box," said Kevin. "Fill the mag up will ya?"
"What ya gonna shoot?
"We need a couple of roo's for dog tucker. Diggers' got five dogs and I've got six of the bastards plus the old man has a couple, so two roos don't last very long between a dozen or so dogs. There's some scrub country up the back of Diggers' place so we'll swing by there on our way home. We'll get two or three quite easy 'cause it's right on dusk now."
"There's a small mob." said Digger, as we drove along side one of his fences.
"Jump in the back with the gun, Digger. Once you've shot one we'll chase 'em down the fence line. If we're lucky you'll git one on the hop!"
Digger very quietly opened the door and climbed in the back of the Ute with Kevin's' 5-shot Bruno 22. BANG! A half-grown roo fell over on its' side and the others took off at top speed.
"Hang on Digger!" yelled Kevin as we bounced over the rough dirt track.
"Wait till we git a bit closer, sport. OK Digger, let 'em have it!"
Digger fired 2 shots and a big roo hit the dust. 2 more shots rang out, but the roos kept hopping.
"Ah, ya useless fucking bastard!" yelled Kevin out the window. "Ya only got one of 'em."
Diggers rough head came into view upside-down in Kevins' side window and said, "You fucking try hitting 'em with a pea rifle off the back of a Ute with no crate on it if ya so fucking good Kevin. It's not as fucking easy as it looks, mate. Anyway, it took me all mi time to hang on. I almost fell out!"
"Ah ya fucking useless Digger", yelled Kevin. "Too much fucking wanking is your problem, mate."
"Well it's cheaper than looking after a fucking wife in town, Kevin."
At first I used to think that they were fair dinkum when they spoke to each other this way but after a while I came to realize that it was all designed to entertain me and entertain me they did.
The Ute pulled up alongside where the roo was now balanced on one leg and his tail and from looks of him he was not in a very good mood.
"He looks a bit cranky." said Kevin, as we got out of the cab.
"He's got a broken leg, that's why." I said.
"They're pretty tough bastards." said Digger, who was sitting on the edge of the back of the Ute.
"They sure are Digger." I said.
"You think you're as tough as a roo, Yorky?" said Digger.
"What d'ya mean Digger?"
"Well, for instance, it would be a bit of a shame to waste another good bullet on him, wouldn't it? "
"I suppose so." I said in my naiveté, not knowing I was in the process of being set up.
"Ya could strangle him, Digger." I said, which was exactly what he'd wanted me to say and I'd taken the bait, hook, line and sinker!
"Yeh, I probably could mate, but I'll bet mi boots a pommy bastard like you wouldn't be able to strangle him."
There was no way out of the challenge now 'cause I was in too deep, so my next line had to be "How much ya wanna bet, Digger?"
"How much ya make a week, Yorky?"
"10 quid. Why?"
"I'll bet ya half a weeks wages."
"You're on Digger." I said as I offered him my handshake.
"Ya words good enough for me, Yorky." he said with a big smile.
"Jesus Christ!" said Kevin. "This'll be a bit of fun. The pommy versus the roo, to the death!"
'Oh shit!' I thought, you let them con you Yorky, now you'll have to go through with it or they'll take the piss out of ya for weeks on end. They'll say that you're a gutless pommy bastard. You'll never hear the end of it.
"Whenever you're ready Yorky." said Digger. "Take ya time mate. He's got a real strong tail. Look how he's sitting up there mate!"
I turned to face the roo, who was now growling and raring to go. As I moved towards him he moved around a bit so he was still facing me, so I moved back around the other way. As soon as I made my move the roo made his, so he was still facing me. I thought, 'I may be able to run around the back side of him', but he saw what I was up to and hopped around on his one good leg and thick strong, sinewy tail to face me again.
"Ya not making much headway with him Yorky." said Kevin.
"I think the Pommy bastard's scared of him." said Digger.
"If I go at him face on, Digger, he'll kick mi guts out mate!"
"Yeh, he most likely will Yorky." said Digger, who was now chewing on a piece of wheat stalk.
"Tell ya what I'll do for ya Yorky." said Kevin, with a smile. "I'll distract him with a branch and you sneak around the back of him and when he's not looking at ya, run in and grab him mate!"
"OK!" I said, glad for some help. "Go grab a big stick."
Kevin moved over to the side of the fence and picked up a large stick with some eucalyptus leaves on the end of it.
"Alright Yorky!" he said with a big smile. "Git ready mate!"
Kevin walked in front of the roo and shook the stick in the roos face and as the roo turned to face him, I made the best of my opportunity. Running towards the roo, I grabbed him by the throat with mi bare hands. This really pissed him off. As I started to squeeze, he put his hands up to my hands that were wrapped tightly around his neck and started to claw at them, so I squeezed his neck much harder now. He fell over backwards on top of me, which knocked me to the ground, but by this time we were both fighting for our lives. As we rolled around on the ground the roos one good back leg kept coming in, up and down with great force as his large razor sharp toenail cut through the air trying to connect with some solid pommy skin. The red dust was flying quite thick now as we rolled around in the dirt. The roos' large, thick tail was thumping the ground as he tried to get his balance back so he could regain his one good leg. We were so close together now that we could smell each other and he sure didn't like the smell of white, pommy, Palmolive flavored skin, so he kicked as hard as he could while at the same time trying to twist his body so he was facing me.
I could hear Digger and Kevin laughing their heads off as Digger said, "Look out Yorky, If he gets turned around to face ya, ya fucked mate! I'll never collect mi five quid!" he roared with laughter.
"Fuck you Digger!" I screamed. "And fuck ya five quid mate. This bastard is a bloody strong roo, even with one leg!"
"Hang on to him, Yorky baby." roared Kevin from the sideline. "I think ya making a bit of progress with him, mate. Try squeezing a bit harder Yorky!"
I could feel the vibration in the roos' voice box as he growled and growled. I was squeezing as hard as I could but it was not making much of an impression on him as we still rolled around in the Aussie dirt. He tried to regain his foot and rolled over on his other side, taking me with him as I tried to get a foothold in the dust with mi work boot.
"I think ya getting one up on him, Yorky!" roared Kevin amidst a big belly laugh. "His eyes are starting to bulge a little bit."
"I can't squeeze any harder!”, I yelled to Kevin as we rolled around again.
"If he turns around to face ya Yorky, give him a big kiss. That'll confuse him mate, but be careful he doesn't bite ya lip."
"And look out for his breath!" added Kevin. "It probably stinks. It doesn't look like he's cleaned his teeth for a while, mate!"
"Give us a fucking hand, Kevin!" I yelled. "I'm stuck with him. I can't kill him and I can't let him go!"
"Ya going great Yorky." yelled Digger. "I'm getting mi 5 quid out now so I can pay ya mate, as soon as he's dead."
The roo was in no worse shape now than before I started. His sinewy neck was as strong as hard-core rubber under the gray and brown fur. The more and longer I squeezed, the more it seemed to piss him off. I felt like he knew I'd lost before I started and all I could do now was to hang on to his neck so he couldn't turn around and kick me to death.
As I eventually regained my feet, I yelled to Kevin, "Bait him with the stick mate, I'm gonna try to let him go!"
"Nah mate.", he said. "Hang onto him Yorky. You're doing great cobber!"
"Fuck you Kevin! You take over if ya want but I'm lettin’ him go right now mate, so grab the stick!"
I let go of the grip I'd had on the roos' throat and as I opened mi hands he shot forwards and regained his feet. I shot backwards as fast as I could go without losing mi footing. The roo had turned around again as he'd gone forward so now we stood face to face with each other at a distance of about 8 feet.
As we both stood there, breathing hard and gasping for breath, Digger said, "I think you've just about got him fucked Yorky. Dive on him again mate and give him another good dose. Show him what you're made of Yorky!"
"Fuck you Digger!", I said, between gasps. "He's too good for me mate."
Digger was now sat on a can in the back of the Ute still laughing away to himself as Kevin shot the roo and stuck him in the back of the Ute with the other one.
"Alright.” said Kevin. "Let's go. It'll be ten O'clock before I get home at this rate. The missus will be wondering where I got to."
When we got back to the homestead we threw the 2 roos into the dog pen and Kevin opened 'em up with a sharp pocketknife so as to make it easier for them to get at the meat. When we walked away the Kelpies were all fighting to maintain their positions in the pack and some of them were fighting to move up a position so they could eat before the rest of 'em.
"Look at the bastards!" said Kevin. "They won't work for a bloody week after a feed like that."
"Yeah." said Digger. "It's just as well we won't be needing 'em for a while."
That evening, after a good shower, Digger related the story of how Yorky had tried to strangle a roo on the way home. Dick Skipworth had a good laugh between mouthfuls of cold mutton and Nellie said to me, "Be careful of those two boys of mine, Yorky, they'll kid ya up a tree and chop it down it ya let 'em."
"I can see that, Mrs. Skipworth. I'll watch out for 'em from now on. I owe Digger 5 quid."
Digger started to laugh and after he'd finished he said, "I'm canceling the bet, Yorky. That's the best 5 quids worth of entertainment I've ever had in mi life, mate."