THE TALE OF THE LIGHT ROAN COW

Mary Durack,  Argyle Stn  1930

 

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!"

 

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this poem has been presented to the public -  B.L.  2010

 

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