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A Squatter's Diary

By Henry E. Butler

Winter's gone, the Spring has come,
Grass is green all over run ;
Autumn lambs are in good nick,
Tiptop market, sell them quick ;
Returns come back, and then I get
Account sales and a good fat cheque.
Go and have a month in town,
Come back, find the run burnt brown,
Ride through run, grass seed here,
Burr in wool, time to shear.
Shearing started yesterday,
Things are now well under way.
Soon machinery all goes wrong,
Another expert sent along.
He gets things right, start again,
Down come twenty points of rain.
Sheep too wet for men to shear,
They must dry for three days clear.
The three days up, sheep brought in,
Shearing starts but stops again ;
Shearers go to boss and say,
"Sheep must dry for one more day."
Rouseabouts have four days' spell,
Pay for whole week or there's hell.
Fresh start has been made again,
Wool goes down by every train ;
Six weeks, still more sheep to shear,
One more week then shearers clear;
Rouseabouts tucker, seven weeks' bill,
'Tis indeed a bitter pill.
Settled up with all the men,
Hand quite stiff from using pen ;
Signing cheques is not a joke,
Profits melt at every stroke.
Now the wool has all been sold,
Truly sheep are mints of gold.
Wool all brought a splendid price,
"Topped" the market, that was nice.
One can't live in town for ever,
Come back to the "never never ;"
Tanks and creek are very low,
Must rain soon or stock will go.
No rain yet ; call tenders for
Putting down artesian bore.
Bore now down two thousand feet,
Splendid flow, terrific heat.
Paddocks now are eaten bare,
Sheep are dying, here and there ;
Must look after those on hand,
Shift them on to rented land.
Rain at last ; the country's saved,
The way to next year's profits paved
Fortune is once more in sight,
Once more prospects looking bright.


From the NSW paper the Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People Saturday 20 January 1906 p. 15.

About the Author

THE TECHNICAL COLLEGE. THE WOOL CLASSES. (From The Sydney Stock and Station Journal Friday 11 August 1905 p. 3.)

Good work is being done in the training of young men, at the Woolclassing Department of the Technical College, Sydney. It will surprise most readers to learn that all the day students at the class are engaged for sheds, each one having; from two to four sheds, and that at extreme rates. If there were 150 students, they could all find remunerative work, for the demand is very great and that speaks well for the teaching power of the classes and the estimation in which the work of the college is held. We purpose saying something about the teaching done by Mr. Hawkesworth for the place ought to be better known than it is.

In the meantime we give the pass-list for 1905 in the wool-classing examinations:--Honours: Lucien G. Bonnefin, Sydney; Albert A. Griffith, Orange; Harold D. Cutler, Sydney; Gilbert Pntchard, Sydney ; Walter L. Hickenbotham, Victoria ; Claude V. Terry, Yass; Benjamin J. Taylor, Bankstown ; Henry E Butler Sydney ; Andrew B. McLennan, Narrandera; Arthur G. Thomas, Sydney; Victor R. Taylor, Bathurst; Robert W. Chilcott, Queensland.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory