Home-isolation … it’s come to this. I’m prepared to write about anything, even stuff I wouldn’t normally admit to. Such as:
When I was a kid on the farm on Kangaroo Island I’d do things that these days I wouldn’t do for any amount of money. Here’s my first example:
Playing Biggles in the scrub behind the milking shed was hard, hungry work. The good thing about a farm was that food was always within reach. Such as eggs. Raw eggs, that is.
How lucky was I that a few chooks used to lay eggs in the milking shed!
Yum, fresh raw eggs.
There’s a knack to drinking them. All that is needed is a sharp nail – never a problem finding them in any farm shed – and you prick a small hole in the ‘blunt’ end of the egg and a slightly larger one in the ‘sharp’ end of the egg. Wrapping your lips around the sharp end you then suck out all the contents.
Have you ever seen a freshly laid egg? Before it has been cleaned? It’s quite evident that it was born from a chook’s bum! And I used to wrap my lips around the bloody thing … a thought now more disgusting than sucking out the raw contents.
(As an aside, we had an exercise in the army … groups of three with the two largest running a hundred metres carrying the smallest person on their shoulders. Further instructions were at the finish line. The smallest in my team thought it was rather funny that she had the easy job … until she saw the next instructions: eat a raw egg. While she was vomiting up said egg I thought to myself; “What’s so bad about eating a raw egg?”)
Back to the farm …
We were never short of roast lamb dinners, prime steak, the freshest of veggies, a big feed of yabbies from the river or fresh crayfish caught by a family friend. But the rest of the time we were stuck with Dad favourites: tripe, heart and kidney stew, ox tail soup, white pudding, black pudding, boiled cow tongues (a big tongue would feed a small family), and I’d even had possum stew and roast wallaby.
But the raw eggs I ate by choice. Dirty eggs, direct from the chicken’s bum. Which leads me to my next story …
It was always an exciting time for me when cousin Jenny from Adelaide would come and stay for the school holidays. We had 1500 acres to play on, dozens of scrubs to play in, a river to swim in – yet there’s one game we enjoyed the most …
The farm had an abundance of cow pats. Do you know how well a dry cow pat frisbees when thrown right? Jenny and I had hours of enjoyment chasing each other around the paddock frisbeeing cow pats at each other.
Splat! I sure could frisbee those cow pats around with pinpoint accuracy.
I can promise every reader that two things I no longer do are eat raw eggs or throw shit around!
Speaking of cows, one particular dairy cow was the meanest thing born with four legs that God ever blew guts into. Her name was Trurio (as in “goodbye”). Trurio didn’t like me, and I didn’t like her.
One day I decided to let her know that I didn’t like her bad attitude, so I sneaked up behind her with football in hand and fired off a magnificent kick aimed and the part just below the tail. Bullseye. I then quickly scampered up the nearest tree when it was obvious that vengeance was sought.
I learned a valuable lesson that day: never kick a footy at an angry cow’s arse five hours before milking time. Unless, of course, you don’t mind sitting in a tree for five hours while a nasty piece of work with long horns waits below for whatever came first: milking time or when I fell out of the tree.
One more story, if I may, that you will never, ever hear of happening these days. Never.
Our area school was just outside of a town called Parndana: a population of about 150, boasting a general store and not much else. It didn’t even have a pub back in those days.
It was in 1967 (when I was in First Year) that our new Deputy Head Master, Mr Lloyd Bennett (who looked a cross between Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard – a fearful fellow) came into the classroom asking who the fastest runner was. We all pointed to Terry May, who was called by Mr Bennett to come forward.
Handing Terry some money he said; “I want you to run into town and buy me a packet of Craven A and hurry back as fast as you can.”
As Terry was about to dart off, a smiling Mr Bennett called out; “Terry, I want the cellophane left on the packet!”
Just another normal day at school, way back when.
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