The rural towns in this great State share fame we all salute –a land of wealth, and larrikins of coveted repute,of times when shysters plied their skill in country butcher shopswith sawdust floors and slabs of beef on wooden chopping-blocks.
One year, the butcher took a chance to score on Christmas meat:he could not know two honest souls would see him as a cheat.That was the case, some decades past: that villain strove to rob.My dear old Mum was coaxed and conned to part with her last bob.
Hard working men tend to relax, perhaps just once a year,when Christmas comes and thirsty mates partake of festive cheer.The bottom pub played host, that day, for Dad to make it known,revenge was there for him to take in ways that would atone.
True Aussie culture does decree the bloke you stand besidewill live or die, as cobbers do, to save your worthy hide.His solemn oath will pass the test, his eyes will never blink,when doubters question who you are, or wonder why you drink.
Dad’s merry mood had honed intent to realize a dream,to teach this clown, not he alone, could plot and plan and scheme.He chose his favoured drinking pal to toil with him all nightto fill the fridge with pounds of pork before the dawning light.
The slaughter yards, a few miles out, were home to savage hounds.The adults, kids and butcher knew that place was out of bounds,for any stranger, straying there, would have a bloody day,though faith and justice, just this once, did grace my Old Man’s way.
High spirits mixed with ‘draught on tap’ had primed the duo well.They brushed aside the snarling dogs: ignored the putrid smell.They bagged a luckless porker in the dark and slimy mudand, somehow, made it home to deal with skin and hair and blood.
The local Sergeant must have known of antics on that night,but chose to take a backward step and grant some moral right.The barking dogs and squealing pigs had made a dreadful dinthat pealed for days, in Dad’s sore head, to chastise well his sin.
Hot water from the copper, scrubbing brush and Sunlight soaperased all signs, of what had been, a night of hell and hope.Poor Dad was quaking in his boots in fear of vengeful law as Mum wrapped roast in baker’s dough… then closed the oven door.