The Old Cattle Dog.
by Frank Yeats

The two-hour muster took six, when the old dog slipped his chain,
For a wild and loyal moment he thought he was back working again.
His memories took him back to those days when he dodged the bullock's heels
And how he waited in smoke-filled camps for his share of campfire meals.

He puffed and panted behind the riders, sounding like an old steam train,
But his gleaming brown eyes show he's happy to be on a muster again.
His Cattle Dog senses and courage kept him going when walking alone,
I'm sure he knows he'll get a special welcome when he limps to his master's home.

His working days are now long gone, his black muzzle now turning grey,
And his calloused pads cannot take the miles of the lonely droving way.
No longer can his stiff, sore body hold its own on a brumby chase,
For he is usually left tied to his kennel while the younger dogs take his place

But when the sun draws over the dawning peaks, the riders and dogs get ready,
For today the mountain-top ranges are to be mustered where rider and horse go steady.
The old dog stays, doubled chained now, when the others head off down the track.
Yes, the old dog whiles away the hours, waiting for them to come back.


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