Herb's Home

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