Anthony W. Pahl
THE DOG ‘N’ BONE
Jacky ‘n’ his family lived in a hut just out of town
It was made a bits a timber an’ rusty corrugated iron
The floor was made of hard packed dirt with no furniture at all
There wasn’t any windows and a hessian bag hung on the door.
Old blankets and some kapok mats was laid down on the floor
Though no-one ever slept in there: it was used more just the store
The only time they’d go inside was when it blew a bluddy gale
‘Coz, for the abos, being inside was the same as being in bluddy jail.
A cooking fire was always kept a lit just outside the door
And firewood was only got when they needed a bit more
The blokes sat around the fire talking ‘bout the hunting for the day
‘N’ the women hardly said a word, ‘n’ the kids just ran ‘n’ played.
The White Kid ~ circa 1958I never was uncomfortable when Jacky took me to his home
‘N’ often times I’d stay the night instead of going home alone.
Jacky’s dad, an elder, would chant some dreamtime lore
An’ Jacky’s brother, he’d explain so we could learn some more.
Sometimes Jacky’d come home with me so he could stay ‘n’ play
Me brother and two sisters liked Jack, ‘n’ me Nanna said okay
Me ole man was never all that keen, but Jacky was a kid
You’d never believe the things that Jacky ‘n’ me ‘n’ Alan did.
But the thing that I remember best of all, was the first time Jacky saw
A cast iron bath tub in the house and a carpet on the floor
An’ a dog ‘n’ bone hung on the wall ‘n’ rung while he was there
We was walking up the hallway ‘n’ it give him a right old scare,
He ran like every evil spirit from hell was after him
But when I finally caught him hiding in the shed behind a bin
I told him what it was but he never believed a bluddy word
Even when I told him, was just the phone bell he had heard.
Still, Jacky often came to visit ‘n’ we would always play outside
Nan ‘n’ Pa had a couple of acres, a lot of scrub so we could hide
We’d raid the maggie ‘n’ cocky eggs ‘n’ eat them as they were
But from the day Jacky heard the phone, he never stepped inside our door.
©Copyright February 27, 2002 by Anthony W. Pahl