Thursday, June 6, 2013

Meat #2

I asked Jaques if he wanted to borrow my four wheel drive but he declined. They are good roads, not the bush tracks of the back blocks, he explained. These are more like city streets. Good money went into these roads to haul the logs out before they all went broke.
He had his rifle hanging out of his drivers' side window and was feeling around with his left hand for the spotlight. Flicked on the spottie ... and again. "Ahh, she does not work." He chucked it behind his seat. "Two hunnerd and fifty I pay for this fucker and it does not work."
"No spottie?"

It was decided between the two of us that we'd set some yabbie pots in the dams and then try and find some game. Jaques was after a roo and maybe some rabbits but he also wanted a fox because really, he's half hunter and half consummate shooter. "I 'ave a special thing to bring the foxes in," he said.

When we got to the dam he cleared his gun and laid it carefully over the dash before he got out of the car. Wild ducks scarpered in the headlights to a black sky. I could smell the night, the oil of the trees and the funk of the dam. I threw pots into the dark water and laid their lead ropes among the cloven hoof prints on the banks. Then he backed out, to the track.
"Cattle tracks," I said. "I saw cattle tracks."
"Yes, there are wild cows here," Jaques said.

I didn't really believe him because the fences were fallen down and all the roads open to the main highway. I didn't believe his story about wild cattle and sheep until I saw them in the headlights: a mob of heifers of all different colours galloping along the track; a flock of sheep with their long tails, their wool falling away from them in strips, running through an avenue of blue gums, running from the car through abandoned city streets.


  1. Wow - what a boon for hunters - beef. I'd reckon the Aboriginal people would know about that and probably take advantage. A wild herd like that is probably a real problem for the remaining local farmers - disease and interbreeding and such. I know a biker who came to grief (but lived to tell the tale) when he hit a wild horse somewhere near Dumbleyung. Given the conomical outlook and lack of food security in this country (and leaving out the devastation they cause to the environment) it might be good to have roaming herds of ready-made food in the future. I'd be interested to know if there was an underground culture taking advantage of it already.

  2. It wouldn't surprise me Michelle. That place is crazy! It reminded me of one of those post apocalyptic movies, 'I am Legend', 'The Road' without the cannibals :) weeds, ferals etc

  3. Free food on the hoof and a sheepskin coat as well ! Who wouldn't take advantage of that, you'd be mad not too ....

  4. It is getting too dodgy for me to drop the odd bushbuck now and then. This is the problem when you live in a village, people gossip. Angola may be as big as half Europe and as sparsely populated as Alaska but believe me, stop in the middle of nowhere to take a dump in the bush and suddenly you have an audience of giggling locals. Too risky for me to be caught poaching.

  5. Jacques sounds as wild as his prey.