Host: Mt. Sarah Station
Written by Kirsty Williams – Manager, Mt. Sarah Station.
Stations kids are immersed in the day to day real-life running of the station, growing up surrounded by adults, and often swearing like one too! You can’t hide the facts of life from them or sugar-coat it for that matter. The steak that they see on their plate, they more than likely saw standing in the paddock. It may sound ghastly to some but it is reality, and part and parcel of the lifestyle.
Cam and his apprentice.
For the past 12 months, our middle child George who is three has been a free little spirit while his big sister started school and his little brother has been too small to join in. And what a year of intrigue it has been. From a little boy of few words except for a gentle “mucks sake” every now and again when he fell off his bike, I can now not shut him up or keep him at the house – he really thinks he is one of them, the big boys!
The best playground yet!
Given the heads up by Cam that they’re going for a drive, there’s a sprint to pack his little cooler bag, a drink bottle, two apples for himself, and “got you a pear Dad” and with his boots and hat, off he goes. On return he comes running through that door with his mind working faster than his mouth, about how many cows he saw, what they fixed, what they shot, who they saw, and what they ran over. His little brain is like a sponge, fascinated by all things cow, truck, and animal related.
George, Fluffy, and Yogi.
If the blokes are at the house for the day he’ll happily spend all day in the shed with them. Occasionally I’ve seen him walking back across the flat to the house and I think “oh he’s sick of it and coming to see what I’m doing” but no, he walks through the gate, mumbles “Need a poo!” and with that accomplished, he heads back to the shed.
At two, George would ride his bright red and yellow trike up and down the veranda yelling “hey, hey, hey . . . ” mustering his pretend herd but this has now progressed to riding one handed on his two-wheeler with a hand on the chest saying, “copy channel Dad!” I did have to draw the line as I saw him ride past the kitchen window with a rolled up piece of paper between two fingers as he was “mustering like Damo”, one of our ringers.
Earlier in the year with George having not long turned three, I was driving into town to pick up the stores. Staring out the window George out of nowhere says “Mum . . . when me grow up I’m going to do a mono . . . mmmmm big mono . . . and shoot two dingoes . . . and drink beer!” It was at that moment that I realised he may have spent a few hours too many hanging around the ringers at a local gymkhana/motorkhana we had been to the previous weekend.
With Damo – George’s idol.
At another gymkhana George happened to win the Monte Carlo, which is a matter of being led around a circle and being lucky enough for the bottle that gets spun to not land on you. As he was led away on his nine hand high pony, a couple of young lads yelled from the grandstand, “GO GEORGE!” Without even turning his head he raised his hand in what looked more like a salute as if to say “I’m all over this fellas” which initially I was horrified thinking “you arrogant little turd”, but after all, he’s just a little boy in a big man’s world!
Local gymkhana – just 550km down the road.
If told not to go over to the yards while drafting, he does listen . . . and then waits for the most opportunistic time to escape. Recently, having hung up the phone after rectifying an order that had gone pear-shaped, I called out to no response and there 500m down the road is George barefoot with his canine entourage heading for the yards with a drink bottle under one arm and a packet of biscuits under the other. Mortified as he approached a small mob of weaners on the outside of the yard, all I could think is “oh geez, they’re going to chase the dogs and clean him up in the process,” but with the single-mindedness to reach those yards, obviously before Mum caught him, he looked straight past and kept those little legs moving.
So close yet so far!
Generally, if there’s an animal, no matter what sort, there’s George not far behind. Whilst watering the garden one morning George ran past me and I asked what he was doing. He just yelled back “nothing.” Ten minutes later, having taken an alternative route so he didn’t have to pass me, he rides past on his bike, bare foot crossing the flat with an orange bag dangling from his handle bars. Having resourcefully climbed the shelves in the cool room, he’d snaffled a bag of carrots and was en-route to the horses who had wandered in. It is no wonder he sleeps well at night with what must go on in that little brain.
The carrot thief!
I told George this week that he was starting kindy properly next year, he swiftly responded with a smile, “no way” as if it was an option. So with that, I’m not quite sure how my little cow loving, dingo shooting wannabe ringer and kindy are going to gel – but we will tackle that one when it happens. A school desk in the shed might not be out of the question!
Why dingo, what big eyes you have!