– Edward Abbey
The Queensland Dog
A stranger came from New South Wales, and he was tall and brown,
He lined up beside us at the bar and sank his schooners down.
And all the while, to pass the time, he told us doubtful tales
Of the country he laid claim to, that remarkable New South Wales….
With soil so rich and fertile, so ran his line of talk,
That pumpkin vines fair sprinted along, as fast as a man can walk.
He said it took two hours sometimes, to ride through the hollow logs,
For the timber grew so thick and tall… ..and then he mentioned DOGS!
Little McGinnis spoke up then, arising from his seat,
“I dunno about them other things, but in dogs we got ya beat”
“I was boundary ridin’ once,” he said, “on a station out Longreach way,
And lost me bearin’s among them hills, right at the end of day.
So I let the old moke poke along and find his own way in the dark,
Until in the distance I saw a light and then I heard him bark.
Well, station dogs are mostly noise, I never took no heed,
I only wanted me bearin’s, and I could have done wiv a feed.
So I went on ridin’ towards the light, just followin’ me nose,
And then I heard him bark agin and this time he’s up close!
I needn’t ‘ave worried, he’s only a dog, the kind the cockies keep,
That chase the Dingos away all night, then lay all day and sleep.
When we gits nearer ‘e whines a bit, friendly and quiet and deep.
Then he stands on his hind legs to lick me face, and I see his gentle eye,
and his dusty coat and wagging tail by the starlight in the sky.
And the horse I was sittin’ on was seventeen hands high!”
The stranger paled and admitted, with the wind took out of his sails,
That dogs do grow bigger in Queensland than they do in New South Wales!