"Mook and Melba"

per Kind Permission of Stewy Oates. .2007

Harry Files was his name, a man with pride, unknown to few.
He worked the outback all his life, always with his loving wife.
A gentleman to all and a friend to all he knew.
Melba was that ladies name, to him she was his life.
You would never see them too far apart, she would keep the grog at bay,
But would always join Mook for a couple at the end of a long, hot day.

You'd often see them droving down the Darling,
In droughts that wouldn't budge or give an inch.
With the pack horses & stock half starving,
Pushing slow to make sure he got them through that last pinch.
Moving them by the grain on road Mook would nurture all his stock,
Never by the clock, more like The Shepherd and His flock.

When all the drives were over, you would think the stock had been on clover.
For the stock were in good condition,'though a week or two too late.
The owners of the cattle, always praised his simple ways as a drover.
His word and handshake stood by him and of course so did his mate.
I'm sure that I could write a book on drover Mook & his mate Melba
For more praise comes to mind, but instead those memories I will shelter.

So if some night you're sitting on the banks of the Darling,
After setting up your camp and stirring the fire for your dumpling,
And you hear a stockwhip cracking, or just a hobble chain a rattlin,
Or a bellow from a breakaway and some old stockman starts a cursin'
Don't be getting too excited, don't trip the camp oven, spill the stew.
You can bet its Mook & Melbas droving plant… just passing through.

Submitted by Stewy Oates, Drovingmate Kennels

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