THE RED STEER
Raw crimson split the mountain ........ the Beast had broken yoke,
Remorselessly advancing, belching coils of evil smoke,
Terror ran before it, fiery nostrils lifted high,
Glowing, pulsing hatred flared and filled the morning sky.
No rail or chain restraining, freed greedily to graze
On untouched virgin forest, insatiable forays,
Full gallop down steep gullies, each scorching hell-bent stride
Spreading desolation in a red fanged blackened tide.
Foul breath raked dry grassland, hissing embers flew,
Blazing horns tossed wildly, overwhelming panic grew,
As homesteads fell in ashes - the merciless barrage
A scornful, taunting challenge to face the maddened charge.
Beleaguered towns united in a common desperate cause,
The Red Steer was on the rampage - that blind brute knew no laws,
Grim faces weighed the chances and knew the odds were bad,
An all or nothing battle draining every strength they had.
Confronted in the foothills, the monster bellowed, burned,
Fighters, forced to scatter, re-grouped again,
Faced the fury, fought it, triumph then despair,
Frenzied flames leapt overhead exploding in mid-air.
Leaden arms obeyed numbed minds, determination still
Overpowered sane reason as the demon closed to kill,
Savage jaws engulfed them, drove them down on nerveless knees,
- - Cool feather-touch on blistered skin,
a swinging, rising breeze.
Prayers and valour answered by a windshift's timely veer,
Lurid tongues licked lower, men raised a ragged cheer,
New energy flowed strongly re-fuelling hope once more,
The baffled Beast swayed weakly, flayed hide oozing gore,
Sank forward gasping harshly, massive head hung low,
Charred flanks heaving deeply with each crippling body blow,
Great legs faltered, crumpled, .....crazed eyes dimmed baleful glare,
The Red Steer retreated sullen, unrepentant to its lair.