We often get requests from people who read the blog for follow up stories.
One story they ask about is “T Bone”, Shannon’s steer he acquired as payment for a job.
T Bone, as his name suggests, wasn’t meant to be with us for long, but he’s still here.
When Shannon first got him NO ONE ventured in to his enclosure.
He was as mad as a cut snake. He would rake the ground furiously with his hoof and charge you, even hitting the fence (which was the only thing that stood between you and him) so hard that he would bleed. Over time he stopped doing that but he never got friendly enough to pat.
When T bone first arrived it was a matter of setting up a quick enclosure. This was done securing fencing and gates together but it was never the ideal scenario, it was never meant to be, he wasn’t going to be with us for very long.
Now they say tender juicy meat comes from carefree, stress free cattle. Once you’ve eaten meat from this source you’ll never shop at Cole’s or Woolworth’s again for your meat.
In hospital Chris was chatting with one of the nurses who has a farm outside Goondiwindi. They don’t even let their cattle see a gun before they kill them, they take their shot from a distance. She raved about her meat.
T bone didn’t fit into this category. He was one stressed out steer.
Shannon has a 20 acre block beside his house, with good fencing which only needed fixing in a few places. So he and Steve set about getting T Bone’s new home in order.
While I’m on fences…
During a quiet spell Shannon, Steve and a few of the backpackers fixed the fencing around the camp.
Now this was done farm style, none of that time wasting hitting star pickets in with a star picket hammer.
This was done with the large excavator!
It was so funny to watch the little slim star pickets being driven into place with the excavator bucket which is almost the size of our caravan.
Our urgent question was “Who was driving the excavator?” You see the fence that was under repair runs right beside the caravan, and I mean RIGHT BESIDE.
We asked this question because one of the backpacker,s who will stay nameless has the nickname of “Butterfly” as in “Oh look a butterfly” as his mind wanders easily to other things. We hoped he wasn’t in control of the excavator but luckily it turned out to be Shannon.
Back to TBone…
The next job on the agenda was to service the cattle grid on the entry road to our area. It’s there for one reason, to stop cattle walking either out or in to the property.
The grid was lifted up, the ground under was cleared away so now, theoretically, T bone wouldn’t escape out the front door so to speak.
Now the problem was how do you move him into a near by paddock without having to shoot him or lose him in the process?
Shannon watered a nice grassy spot at the entry to the paddock hoping this would entice T bone just to wander over.
Noooo that would need brains.
Open the door and what does T bone do?… run straight OVER the grid down the road heading towards Boomi.
By the time Shannon had walked over to the workshop and got his quad bike, and Steve got the ute, T bone was half way to Boomi. They then had to herd the stupid steer home with the erstwhile help of old mongrel the pig dog (who did a sterling job by the way).
Now we often see unusual and fascinating sights from the kitchen window so this time we were treated to the display of TBone trotting around the camp followed by Shannon on the quad bike, Mongrel – looking as good as any cattle dog and Steve in the ute all trying to get the mad steer into his new home.
Shannon’s quick response to our questioning look was, “Just takin’ him for a walk”.
Mongrel, who is brilliant at catching pigs learnt not all techniques are the same with all animals. Trying to pull on T bones ear earned him a swift kick but he very quickly learnt how to keep him on the right track for home.
As soon as T bone was in the paddock he headed for the scrub. Shannon still believes that he is from the top end and is a scrub bull.
No one saw him for weeks as he hid away in the bush but eventually he came out to munch his way around the grass in the open.
I went over to take his photo the other day and got as far away as 200 metres before he took off.
We still pass several herds of cattle along the road to Goondiwindi and they might move a couple of steps when a truck goes past but never gallop away. Not T bone! He’s “Special”! He runs at full speed back to the trees.
He’s still as mad as a cut snake.