He walked along the dusty road
Passing paddocks with wheat ready for harvest
Tall and golden waving in the breeze
"A lot of bloody work" he muttered to his dog
They had been on the road for a week
The hottest November on bloody record
They were heading to Richardson Bridge
Or the Bridge as the locals called it
He hadn't been home for 10 years
Roaming the four corners of New South
Chopping wood here and there when the
Bloody dog couldn't find a rabbit
They had been partners for five years
Best bloody dog in the World
The six year old kelpie was his mate
They had been everywhere together
Broken Hill, Tamworth, Hay and Young
He's called Melba because he keeps coming back
Accompanied by a herd of blowies
Wearing a brown coat that started life blue
His boot were starting to show their age
Held together by wire and string
Pants, ripped and torn, held up by hay band
They wandered on towards the Bridge
They were going to stop for the night
When Melba supplied a rabbit for tea
It was about five when Herb was done
"Bugger it Melba, I'm bushed" Herb groaned
He started making a fire as Melba went hunting
His billy was on the fire, "Where's that bloody dog"
Herb had enough tea for maybe one more day
Enough flour for two loaves of damper
He was mixing the damper when Melba returned
A big rabbit in his mouth "You bloody ripper!"
"A bloody big feast for tea tonight"
Smelt like a posh restaurant as the rabbit and damper cooked
"Best bloody meal for days, you're a ripper Melba"
He patted the dog and chucked him a bone
There were only bones and half the damper
When Herb rolled out his swag ready for sleep
We should be at the Bridge tomorrow, Boy
The old woman will make us both have a bloody bath
Up with the sun, damper and tea for breakie
They walked for five hours, sweating and swearing
A truck approached them in a cloud of dust
It stopped and the driver stuck his head out the window
"Ya going to the bridge mate?" "Yeah"
Jump in the back with ya dog and ya flies
"Bloody hell Melba. what was that!"
The truck stopped with a jolt
"Here were are Herb, out ya get"
Herb climbed out with his swag and Melba
"How do ya know my name mate?"
"I went to school with ya" he said and drove off
The truck had disappeared around a corner
By the time Herb got his bearings
And he realized he was outside his mother's house
"Bloody hell Melba, let's see if the old lady is home"
He crossed the road and knocked on the door
Curtains pulled back, neighbours watching the scene
He could hear steps approaching the door
Melba was barking as the door opened
The old lady looked out and turned up her nose
"You want a feed, cut the wood out the back"
The woman smiled as she entered the kitchen
"Your brother is home" she said to her daughter Jean
After an hour a neat pile of wood sat at the back door
Melba had explored every inch of the yard
Running around the fruit trees and under the fig
Any noise attacked with passion
Herb sat under the apricot tree enjoying a smoke
Melba relaxing at his feet
The old lady approached the dog
Melba jumped up excited by the attention
He loved his belly being rubbed
"This fella really needs a bath"
"He swam in a dam last month"
So do you Herbert Joseph Denbol