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Pets. I had my fair share of pets over the years. There were dogs, cats, and at one stage I had a kangaroo. Today I don't have time to take care of any kind of animals. The only animals I have now, are ones that sit on cupboards and have to be dusted from time to time. Or I have pictures of them The animals I like I would not be able to have. My favorites are Bengal Tigers, Wolves and Bears.

When I was young I have a ginger cat which put up with everything I did to him. He was very docile. We lived  in a caravan in a railway yard. I had a dolls pram but most the time the doll didn't go for a ride. Ginger, the cat spent many hours in the pram. He sat without complaining while I dressed him in dolls dresses, bonnets and booties. I placed him in the pram and wheel him around until he went to sleep. Or sit on the swing which hung from the branch of the Jacaranda Tree to swing slowly while I rocked the pram. When he need to go I had to be quick to grab him before he ran away with the doll's clothes on.

But alas, trouble struck. One day when I was at school Ginger was  racing from one side of the railway line to the other, after he had been searching among the stored timber for mice, but he wasn't quick enough. The train came speeding through to cut off his legs. I was very upset when I returned home to find out what had happened to Ginger. He was like a best friend. Following is a poem I wrote about him.

I had a cat named Ginger,
A very docile cat indeed.
I dressed him in a doll's bonnet,
Dress and socks he did wear.
Ginger never struggled to escape,
When placed in my doll's pram.
I wheeled him around the yard,
Ginger would go to sleep.
I would sit on the swing which hung,
From the branch of the Jacaranda tree.
I'd patiently wait for Ginger to wake,
While practicing how to knit.
Needles were out, six inch nails were in,
My father would grumble,
When no nails could be found.
Wool would not slip on rusty nails,
So new ones had to be sought.
Ginger was my best friend,
The best I ever had.
Until that fatal day,
The train too fast.
Ginger to slow.
My best friend is no more,
Ginger had pushed his luck.
Just that once too often,
And the train won.
I had dogs of different varieties of dogs. One was a collie dog which I bought with some money that my uncle gave to me. He had a tin where he collected pennies, sixpences, shillings and halfpennies. I counted them out and changed them to notes to pay for the dogs. Luckily we had a fence so he could not be killed by passing car, trucks and trains. Every time the steam trains chugged by he raced back and forward along the fence, barking.

Then along came a joey kangaroo. It and the dog were palls. Each time the dog ran with the train so did the kangaroo. We kept the joey until he was big enough to be able to survive in the wild on his own. The one day we opened the gate to let him hop free to explore the countryside. To find some new friends to graze with.

Then there was a cattle dog named Butch. He watched over the truck dad owned. No one dare touch the truck. Or to try to removed him from the seat. He snarled at anyone who didn't belong to the family who he believed should not be near the truck. But he did meet a sad end when someone feed him some tainted food.
Butch, my blue cattle dog,
My protector where ever I went,
‘Don’t touch her,’ he would snarl,
Keep your distance,
I’m warning you,
Another foot closer,
I dare you to go,
I move fast,
Even though I’m old,
I’ll grab you by the seat of the pants,
Pull hard, leave a big hole,
Puncher skin as I bite hard, shake my head,
Blood trickles down where your pants once had been,
I’m feel hungry, my lunch late today,
Rump steak would be a treat,
Shin would do, I’m not fussy,
Turn to face me, I challenge you,
Sausage would be nice, a ball or two,
Touch my friend, you won’t be able,
I warn you, to visit the loo.

But before I finished with live animals I had a small hobby farm, where I had a couple of horses, pigs, hens, dog and cats. This was a lot of hard work. I had to change my life after I had a few major operations. Time had come to change my life from working during the day, taking care of the animals, cleaning a shop at night plus take care of the house. Most of the time I believe I ran on raw nerves from lack of proper sleep.

Before thing went down hill there was one very bust, exciting month. A couple of sows were ready to deliver, hens were about to hatch their eggs, a duck was sitting, two cats were in kitten, plus on daughter and her sister-in-law were due to have babies.

The race was on. Every animal had hatched or delivered but the two babies hadn't arrived. The my daughter had a few contractions and had to go to hospital but was soon sent home. She wasn't happy because she was taken in by ambulance. She complained it took twenty minutes to do the paper work before they left the ambulance station.

She paced the floor for some time the next night when the pains returned. I was in suppose to be sleeping but the discussions going on kept me awake.In the early hours of the morning she had won the battle. A knock came to the door. Withing minutes I was dressed ready to leave. My daughter hopped in my car while her husband followed in his. He predicted I wouldn't have her at the hospital before she had the baby.

We set out to do the first few kilometers at a safe speed over gravel road. When I reached the highway I put the foot down only slowing to pass through built up areas. On reaching the town I took all the back streets and short cuts to the hospital. She won the bet and the shocked future father just shook his head. He believed I drove too slow. His tune changed when I used speed.

After my daughter was booked in I returned the 44km home to find my other daughter still in bed. When I woke her to go to work she said she didn't hear us leave to go to the hospital. Then I had to take her to work. Return home to feed the animals have a shower before I lay down to have some sleep. I was just dozing off when the phone rang to tell me to come back into the hospital.

On arriving I was taken straight to the delivery room where I stayed until my grandson was born. During the waiting, which wasn't very long, I entertained the doctor and nurse about all the new lives and the race to give birth. I went home then returned again that evening to visit then go to a dinner. When I made it home for the last time that day, starting into the next, I crashed into bed and slept soundly.

You can read this and more about my life in a book "Long Hard Road" from Smashwords. Or you can wait to hear bit and pieces at a time.


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