Memoir of cattle, cats and dingoes

Memoir of cattle, cats and dingoes

The sniper came that day

In crisply ironed checkered shirt

And dirty blue king gee shorts

He looked a man to trust

For certain

To rid the place of vermin

Rolled my eyes in the next dull sermon


Damn those dingoes taking cattle

Dad did complain

See them skeletons

Through binoculars

Oh yes see I them well

In that gorge beyond the creek

I asked oh please do tell?

Inside I hid a pensive grin

On his gnarly knee did hop me

Daddy I said

Is that why the cattle are now dead?

Not knowing quite sure where this might have led?

Bastards those cunning dogs

Have slaughtered them upon some logs

So today he stuttered with no delay

His breath did smell of stinking hay

Time to exterminate those pesky dogs

My mind then drifted back

It was just a little pile I stacked

No one was meant to get hurt

Could it be possible that I could say?

Well then let’s not despair

Without a care he uttered

We have some bullets maybe spare

Lets kill the damned nuisance cats

Include them in- let’s off them as well

And the bloody war did reign with force and stealth

Marched on like death squad in beaming health

Does he not care about that sweet tabby ‘marigold’?

She has grown up now -getting a tad bit old

As motley kitten

I fed, and reared

I didn’t offer this out loud

As there seemed a jolly mixed up crowd

A little girls voice was just not a choice

Mummies glare assured

Indeed ‘twas not at all allowed

Lets eat some lunch on the porch

Time for tea and pumpkins scones

Its time to fill our tummies

So it was me that had to shush!

Off to sulk behind the acacia bush

Quietly I watched on in despair

Later the game was on

The sniper did shoot from vast distance, and steadied stare

Swoosh down they went one by one

He sure did snuff them out

All righty then said the man who cocked the gun

In the rosy setting of the sun

My day is done

But before I ride away on horse of course

Lets drown those felines in the river

No bullets left

Strewn all about were empty shells

So in they went scratching

Those wild cats tossed in hessian bags attacked

Did more just than hither thither

And in went old cemented pebbled bricks

So the mess would go down quick

Inside my heart it did wither shiver

Purring softly until the noise it stopped

To hell with you as the shooter hopped

I smiled as nettles stung his hairy pegs

Pushed back his Akubra hat to take a gander

As onlookers it might seem like slander

So this was the fate for the fury souls in this story

He yelled damnation in rabid voice

Was it like they had a choice?

My head fell low

In background noise there were moos and bellows

As the executioner did mention this

We will teach those damned cats a little lesson

Make them hiss

I cried inside- no more kitty calls at gardens gate

In afternoons amber glow

When the cows would come in late

Silenced meows that I would miss

Drinking warm sweet milk from jerseys’ udder

Now this all just makes me shudder

So all of them I must now must hug and kiss

Pray to god their souls to take

If virtue they never get to wake?

I must act now in deftly haste

In sight of this despairing display of waste

Oh my I feel so very sick

All these silly men are dicks

Will daddy know if I were quick?

Bloodied bags I grabbed, and poked

Inside some lives were saved

From the gallows of an early grave

In cold deep mossy waters they would not choke

And up some would pop and possibly float??

I loosened daddies’ sailors’ knot- you see

So now some would escape with glee

I hid them far away, later found the morning after

When I arrived on willowed riverbank in exalted laughter

Nursing them back to better health

It seemed the essence of honest wealth

When them killers all had gone away

For on this Pitt street farm we were here to stay

I vowed with frown and hands on hips

With buttoned rosy red pursed lips

Not to have a word to say

Forgive me Dad- I could only pray

I may even then tell of my mischief someday when?

In times ahead when I was made of Zen

That those kitties lived another day

A story of the fate that in a kinder not so sinister way

On the river-bank they swam and lived

Saved them-selves by swimming quick

Wetted paws preciously they then began to lick

I look on now with deepening sigh

Why do things have to die?

Oh daddy you wont ever know too

Those gentle golden-eyed dogs

That you had slain, in dark and deepest pain

Were not the culprits for the death of cattle?

Or some duel they had to battle

I collected them skeletons in the bush you see

Just right up there I viewed upon your knee

Through binoculars that you did stare

Displayed them all upon a log

Bones that I had gathered from times gone by

Oh my god -I do decry

Just some silly museum I built with skulls of beasts?

Those old cows it seemed at least

All had naturally died

Now you may think it might be me that lied?

Daddy you will know why now I weep

And Mummy know it’s why I wet the bed

Have nightmares, and tormented sleep

For the dingoes did no wrong

To my knowledge when looking back

It was we who did not belong

And that oh daddy

It’s why I sing this silly solemn song

I know now it was all so very wrong

Angelique L. Jenkins


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