We were riding through the mulga
When a bellow from the scrub
Had our mounts up rearing,
Out into the clearing
Burst a spotted, red,
Hooked horns swinging wildly,
My mate cried, "
Split ", and split we did,
The horses leapt apart.
Bill 's pony seemed to stumble in her stride.
The vicious head stabbed sideways,
The girth was cut right through,
Man and saddle crashed and fell
No time then to think about it,
I have often wondered since
Just what caused that unprovoked attack.
Had the animal been brooding
In the bush here all alone
Since the last big muster,
There was a brand above his hip bone,
I glimpsed it as he spun
About, throwing dust and roaring as he came.
Bill lay struggling feebly,
Left leg crumpled underneath,
Fighting back the waves of blinding
I fought my horse to gain control
And soothed his rising fear.
Raw and newly broken,
not yet cattle - wise.
I managed to direct him
Toward the charging brute,
Tho' he shuddered violently and rolled large
At once he seemed to steady,
Urged by my desperate hand,
The courage of his breed came to the fore.
Two beasts came together
Shoulder striking shoulder,
My brave colt almost tumbled,
dark with gore.
With hand and word I praised him
But the battle was not won,
The steer was up and coming at a lope.
At last I had a hand free,
My mount had settled down,
Shaking loops out quickly,
I waited with
The beast was truly maddened,
Great nostrils dripping red,
Blowing crimson bubbles with each snort.
Swift rope snaked out about him,
Seemed to hover in the air,
Then snagged upon a wattle,
I hauled the rope back in,
Kneed my horse into a raking run.
Fiery eyed with fury
The monster closed to kill,
Hopelessly I wished for a whip or
My prayers for aid were answered
From a quarter unexpected,
I'd forgotten little Brown was on the loose.
I thought she'd just kept running.
How could one pint - sized mare be
Bill always swore by that one,
Claimed she never could be beaten,
We could easy get him riled on her behalf .
for a stockhorse,
Nondescript and shaggy,
I often called her "runt" to raise a
Like a bolt she left the timber
With a chilling,
Gamely sprang unerring to where her master lay.
Teeth bared savagely,
She whirled to meet the menace,
Bill's faith in her was proven on
She rammed the brute,
she slashed him
From his eye along the jaw,
Teeth and hoofs gouged strips from blood
and shamed, and shaking,
The steer could take no more,
Little Brown sank slowly at Bill's
Bill recovered at the homestead,
I nursed the old mare's wounds.
She lay in sheer exhaustion where she fell.
I can tell you who cheered the loudest
As she staggered to her feet.
He who calls her "runt" can go