Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The tale of the light roan cow - Mary Durack

Have you heard the tale of the light roan cow
With the minus off-side ear
That Paddy found, On neighbouring ground
While mustering far and near?

Said Paddy: "What is this I see?
A Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D!
A poddy dodging job it's clear!
And where's that missing off-side ear
Where the swallow-tail ear-mark ought to go?
I'll catch that thieving so-and-so!"

A light roan cow with a little red calf
A-bringing up the rear,
With a Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D
And a missing off-side ear.

And so with stockman's skill his own
Before him Paddy drove the roan
Straight through the homestead paddock fence
To us as Capital Evidence
That all from far and wide might know
The guilt of the thieving so-and-so.

Alas! Next morn the cow was gorn
With the little red calf in the rear,
With a Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D
 And a missing off-side ear.

Said Paddy: "I'll get that light roan cow
I'm searching still a year from now
(I know not where and I care not how.)"
From the banks of the Ord to the skirts of the town
He rode to the East and he rode to the West
To the North and the South in a tireless quest -

Of a light roan cow with a little red calf
A-bringing up the rear
With a Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D
And a missing off-side ear.

And Paddy found the cow at last -
It had travelled far and fast,
And with the mob he took to town
He brought the cow and her off-spring down
For the baleful eye of the local law
Who had dealt with crimes of the sort before.

A light roan cow with a little red calf
A-bringing up the rear,
With a Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D
And a missing off-side ear.

 He reached the town beyond the scrub
And stopped for a drink at the local pub
 And what do you know? At the end of the row
There stood the dastardly so-and-so.
Paddy drank his beer without a word,
He had a second and then a third

Then he drank to the cow with the little red calf
 A-bringing up the rear
With the Diamond-Seven on a One-Bar-D
And a missing off-side ear.

And just before he turned to go
He had a quick'n with the so-and-so
 For auld land syne and comrades dead
"And don't forget lad," Paddy said
"How I could put it over you
When I was poddy-dodging too!"

And they toasted the cow with the little red calf
And let them both go free.
Said Paddy: "You can cheat the law
But you can't put it over me!"

Mary Durack (1913 - 1994) Australia
Argyle Stn  1930

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