Here is another 'bush ballad' I wrote about my father, and a few of his many skills, learned over his life in the bush.
JACK OF THE BUSH
We loaded up the tilly To make our slow way home. With Dad and Mum and sister too, No room for me up front.
Lonely me in the open back Sitting on the floor. Surrounded by the debris of Our picnic lunch before.
Dad’s foot depressed the pedal, Thick dust flew up behind. It screened from me the unmade road Which we’d already gone.
But Sis was looking forward She screeched ‘Just look ahead-- A wheel’s come off! It’s rolling there-- It’s leading us!’ she said.
‘Oh Rot!’ said Dad ‘It can’t be that, I tightened up the nuts.’ But while he spoke, the tilly lurched-- The wheel hub hit the dust.
Dad used the brake, and soon we stopped. We only had three wheels. We’re miles from home, it’s getting dark, We’re well and truly bushed.
We’d need a jack to lift the hub To fit a wheel on there. But had no tools at all with us And didn’t have a spare.
Dad found our wheel, and chose two logs Just lying in the scrub Beside the road. He brought them back To where we females stood.
He laid one log across the front Beneath the bumper-bar, Then laid the other, long and thin-- One end beneath the car
Across the first, and stretching out – The free end stuck up high. I watched him quite bewildered Not comprehending why.
But now I knew, and clapped my hands, ‘You’ve made a lever bar!’ We females held that free end down, Which hoisted up the car!
So Dad put back the missing wheel, And tightened up three nuts --He took one from each other wheel— And said that was enough.
And so it proved. He drove us home, There was no further fuss. That tilly took us far and wide. We loved that little bus!