The Muster

Host: Yarrie Station
Written by Wizard – Mechanic, Yarrie Station.

The Yarrie Wizard is our senior station hand and mechanic. His name actually evolved from the thought of him being the station fairy due to his ability and brilliant mind to invent and fix anything; of course a fairy doesn’t quite suit his personality so Wizard it became!

Apart from being busy keeping all the gear moving, turning, and rolling, he also is the buggy driver during muster and often even lends his hand in the bush yards. Although we are well aware of many of Wizard’s hidden talents (the station would not be the same without him) little did we know that poetry is also a part of his magic basket of tricks!

Wizard tells the story of our first large muster this season in a rhyme. This day he was pulled from his buggy, put on a bike, and sent into the rocky back-blocks on Yarrie. This obviously gave him inspiration for this entertaining piece from the “Yarrie Wizard”, which we are sure you will all thoroughly enjoy.

We were out there in the ranges
On a creek way out the track
With two bikes and helicopters
And fuel up on the back

The start of two days muster
With cattle to pursue
These trusty little Hondas
Had a massive job to do

Over 50 km’s to night yards
As a beeline was the sound
No doubt all included
Would cover much more ground

With morning came the business
Of pre checks for the gear
Some oil and fuel needed
To keep things spinning clear

The bikes then quick departed
With choppers soon in tow
Off into the ranges
Two clouds of dust below

With “Alex” on the western bike
And “Wizard” on the east
“Belle” and “Graydn” would be overhead
To try to find the beasts

“Belle” was a seasoned musterer
Finding cattle nothing new
But Graydn had a passenger
His endorsement to pursue

“Thomas” the local publican
With nothing else to do
Said ‘I will drive the fuel truck’
So he was out there too

He was welcome the night before
As we were setting up camp
The helicopters hit the ground
Then “Foxy” came around

With “Alex” driving “Foxy” round
To find us, they succeeded
“Foxy” ripped a box open
And pizza there was seeded

A special view was opened up
Of pizza base and topping
We didn’t need to cook a thing
“Thomas’s” effort was whopping

At camp the girls were gearing up
They’d long been out of bed
Feeding horses, getting saddled up
Yet no sun had reared its head

The two horse trucks would soon be filled
Then head along the track
Three girls in one and three in the other
There was no turning back

They travelled there at quite a pace
With memories of before
How slow they’d go with bumps below
Their bodies would be sore

But “Norm” had been upon the scene
His steed 140G
What he could do with the grader blades
Was quite a sight to see

For he turned the track that once beheld
Bumps, rocks and plenty ditches
Into a road that should be seen
Like first grade cricket pitches

Three girls with horses went far-east
And three went further to a gate
To catch the mob and follow some
And for the rest to wait

Now “Alex” was still far away
And had a healthy mob
He ticked along so easily
Well suited to the job

While “Wizard” was just ‘oba dere’
With thirty two or more
Heading up a lovely canyon
With backside feeling sore

On the radio “Belle” called to “Wiz”
‘Can you get your bike to here?’
‘I’ve a mickey bull down in the creek
You need to blow him clear’

“Wiz” spied the hill and said ‘OK,
I’ll be there in a jiffy’
‘I need to go the long way round,
But we’ll get that bloody mickey!’

He crossed the hill and saw the chopper
Idling on the flat
“Belle” looked and pointed ‘there he is,
Get him out of that’

Now peaceful as the mickey looked
It was clear he needed waking
Just how to do it wasn’t clear
And “Wizards” hands were shaking

For he was all alone and well asleep
Between a myriad of trees
A bike tyre came and touched his head
And forced him to his knees

He looked at “Wiz” quite angrily
And gathered up his feet
While “Wizard” spun with rooster tail
And made a fast retreat

With mickey toting up the creek
To a mob already planted
A little push and they were off
‘Well done’ “Belle” loudly bantered

For down below with mickey bull
While “Belle” was in a hover
“Wiz” fell clean off and upside down
She hadn’t seen his bother

But undeterred Wiz got back on
And over the hill did ride
Not knowing that she hadn’t seen
It took a bit of pride

Back on his mob of thirty two
Up a gully “Wizard” rode
Then a call from “Grant” and “Graydn”
Said the lead was on the road

Now “Grant” was the instructor
To teach the pilots well
On how to fly with cattle
He put them all through hell

The call was made if “Wiz” was right
To leave his mob and cross
Another ridge and follow up
Some cattle for the boss

The cattle found “Wiz” tailed along
His gully rather pretty
Wondering what the “lucky ones”
Were doing in the city!!!!!

The gully then grew deeper
With thickets all around
“Wiz” killed the bike took helmet off
To listen for a sound

The chopper pilots so it seemed
Had left without the call
And left him in an awkward spot
Surrounded by rock walls

‘I’ll push ‘em through and she’ll be right’
He said with cows in sight
He didn’t know his timing
Just mightn’t be quite right

As hills he climbed to get contact
With helicopter crew
Big boulders in the way up there
And could not raise the two

“Wiz” climbed two hills to no avail
Then said I’ll just keep going
The cattle just kept moving on
Without a hint of slowing

Finally the tail and wiz
Emerged into a creek
The gully far behind them
And outlook rather bleak

For in a distant gully
A helicopter spied
He was five K’s in the lead it seemed –
‘Oh No!’ the wizard sighed

He needed to head south now
As quickly as he could
But carefully cause cattle moving
That way won’t be good

A rocky ridge then paved the way
For “Wizard” to the back
The helicopter found the bike
And “Wizard” on the track

Off to the west three horses there
With cattle moving forth
“Panze” the station legend
on Witchcraft heading north

“Stevie” was the Yankee one
On Drew she moved along
Her season with the horses
Now proving very strong

Her position on the Yarrie “ranch”
As “horse breaker” rather big
For horses were a major part
Of this cattle mustering gig

She taught them to be good
She taught them to be kind
She reminded them that no-one leaves
The bloody cows behind

Drew was not her favourite horse
Way back then at the start
But if you ask her feelings now
I’m sure he has her heart

“Amanda” came to have some fun
On Yarrie for a while
She came to ride here all for free
And does it with a smile

On Quinella she just moves along
And does what she is told
To cross her path as some have found
You must be very bold

When “Kelsie” on Calcutta
And “Loz” and “Tam” in suit
Were nearing us with plenty head
And “Graydn” in pursuit

Loz was riding Sinco
A pretty little pair
And Tammy up on Albert
Her P plates all ablair

Then when nearing mob up point
We decided to take five
To let the cattle settle down
And keep all of us alive

Entering a waterhole
With hills both sides encasing
“Wiz” and “Alex” both agreed
They shouldn’t need much chasing

To climb the hills they both achieved
And from their eyrie spied
The mob of cattle standing up
With riders by their sides

The view was grand from way above
The cattle standing so
No need to leave our vantage point
We had them all on show

Then came the call that “Kelsie’s” mob
Were getting rather near
So off we moved from out the creek
To find somewhere more clear

The two mobs met and settled in
We held them all around
And greetings to the other crew
“Hello’s” were all around

When “Panze” decided ‘let’s move off –
This lot are good to go!’
“Belle” stoked her up and in the air
She watched us far below

“Kelsie” had Calcutta on the truck
And was in a buggy seated
The pressure these machines could offer
Was what the yard up needed

“Thomas” in the other one
They got the tail a moving
To see them move with not much fuss
To us was rather soothing

“Panze” took position in the lead
With “Tammy” on the wing
And “Alex” on the other one
To keep them moving in

“Amanda” took the left hand point
While “Lozza” took the right
And “Wiz” and “Kelsie” – “Thomas” too
To keep them all in tight

There were some stacks I must admit
It happens all the time
While bouncing over spinifex
Eight hours at a time

The moving mob was on its way
A settled bunch
One wouldn’t reckon that these ones
Ain’t seen a soul in months

And while we all moved them on
The choppers were fuelling up
With “Andrea” they took their time
She’s now boss of Yarrie’s fuel truck

The choppers they can use some fuel
But ask us all around
We’d rather have them just up there
Than us only on the ground

Finally we turned a bend
And just there on the track
Was a teardrop yard – it’s what we need
To keep ‘em from running back

With all alert on what to do
We drove them all along
And straight into the holding yard
It went just like a song

The panels they were closed in haste
You only get one chance
When dragging “bloody” panels
It’s like a wild bush dance

The yard was checked and double-checked
We don’t want an empty yard
When we get here tomorrow
Now that would just be hard

All good we all decided
And loaded up the truck
We want them all well rested
Tomorrow might need luck

We headed home all weary
With thoughts of dinner time
But “Jo” once more delivered
It was bloody divine

Now this is just the first half
Of a muster just this year
Maybe I can find some time
To make the rest all clear

For being station mechanic
Takes quite a bit of time
I do not often get the chance
To just sit down and rhyme


6.1“With ‘Alex’ on the western bike”.

6.2“While “Wizard” was just ‘oba dere’, With thirty two or more”.

6.3“Entering a waterhole, With hills both sides encasing”.

6.4“A rocky ridge then paved the way, For “Wizard” to the back”.