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Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:04 am
by Maureen K Clifford
Our yarn spinners Corner has been sadly neglected for 2 years - how about we dig up some yarns to share? I reckon there would be a lot out there .. here's one of mine although not so much a yarn as a true story - but I guess that is the same thing really, true stories become yarns when they get a lot more embellishment than truth added :lol:

A true story – written when I was out on a property at Stanthorpe…..

I had no knowledge of shearing sheds or sheep but spent 6 years out there and loved it. As we had just taken over this property complete with its stock of totally feral sheep, and without at that time a working dog – we were pushing ‘sh*t’ uphill well and truly. Our shearing shed was over 100 years old and in disrepair – held together with Cobb and Co twitches. We were on no contractors shearing calendar – but Jim and a mate of his very kindly helped us out between other jobs, and we had bought our place at the beginning of a 10 year drought which saw us hand feeding for over 6 years. It was a baptism of fire – well and truly.

The story of My lost place – My country is also attached, but it is the poem that really details my introduction to sheep. I have to say I fell in love with them, and even though no longer on the property I am still passionate about them. I went out there with my Pit Bull Khadizia much to the horror of the neighbours who threatened us with everything if she was found on their property. Their cries of ‘she will rip your sheep to pieces’ I confess caused a degree of trepidation and we kept a very close eye on our 3 dogs. Jessie was our Blue Heeler, old and nearly blind , Samantha was our Irish Wolfhound/Bull Arab bought by my partners son for pigging, and Khadizia was my much loved Pit.

I have to say that the dogs and the sheep got on just fine. Khadizia fostered 4 lambs – Bob, Emma Louise, Oliver James and Boo and was diligent with washing and flea-ing them, and couldn’t understand why, when they got bigger, that her ministrations were spurned. I can still recall the hurt look on her face the day that she got barrelled by Oliver James who was nearly fully grown at that stage and took a dim view of being pushed to the ground and washed. Khadizia also raised our first little working dog – a Border Collie called Fiesta Anna who was bred by Dan Bougoure, a well known local identity who bred good working dogs and did very well trialling them.

Anna had excellent genes – her mother was Fiesta Jodie and her father Prince's Wally and they were both good trial dogs. The only problem with Anna was she was white – she got on with the sheep as well –they thought she was a lamb. Of course as everyone does we had poddy lambs – one of mine just happened to be black. The sheep though she was the dog. Needless to say when mustering, with the white dog and the black lamb mayhem took over. The other sheep ran away from my little Midnight – she was totally ostracized. We eventually worked out that she was best kept in the home paddock with a couple of feral goats and a pony we had adopted and a couple of old wethers that we were trying to save – don’t know why, they weren’t worth saving so everyone told us, but I couldn’t just let them die. After a few weeks they became invaluable to us as lead sheep as they came when called and followed me around like a dog. Made taking the mob out on the road for a bit of pick so much easier as Hornless, Bones and Hitler would all come at the rattle of the corn tin and a cooeeee from me. I actually managed to muster 746 sheep from an adjoining paddock simply by standing on the front verandah and calling my 3 boys. My partner could not believe it – but I had established a real bond with those 3 vagabonds.

As time went on we adopted a 2nd hand Kelpie, Buster who was a brilliant dog but had only ever mustered paddocks from R to L – so that was how we did it, and we then got another little red Kelpie from one of our shearers at Tenterfield. Sadly little Ralph Patrick picked up a bait that we think was regurgitated by a crow as we never used baits on our property at all. His little life was cut short at 6 months.

Life has moved on as it does, but how I miss living out at 'Springdale' - these days my 'sheep' are a mob of OAP in the over 55's village where I now reside. Just like sheep they are hard to muster, bloody intractable and a few of them definitely have attitude issues.


Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:39 pm
by Shelley
Great memories, Maureen!


Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 5:46 pm
by Maureen K Clifford
The best Shelley, despite the somewhat disastrous ending of it all - but it was this time out on the property that started me writing seriously, and I haven't stopped since :lol: