Nine Miles from Gundagai: The Dog and the Tucker Box [poem by Jack Moses]

[Editor: This is a poem from Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse (1923) by Jack Moses.]

Nine Miles from Gundagai.

The Dog and the Tucker Box.

I’ve done my share of shearing sheep,
Of droving, and all that,
And bogged a bullock team as well
On a Murrumbidgee flat.
I’ve seen the bullock stretch and strain,
And blink his bleary eye,
And the dog sit on the tucker box
Nine miles from Gundagai.

I’ve been jilted, jarred, and crossed in love,
And sand-bagged in the dark,
Till if a mountain fell on me
I’d treat it as a lark.
It’s when you’ve got your bullocks bogged,
That’s the time you flog and cry,
And the dog sits on the tucker box,
Nine miles from Gundagai.

We’ve all got our little troubles
In life’s hard, thorny way;
Some strike them in a motor car,
And others in a dray.
But when your dog and bullocks strike,
It ain’t no apple pie,
And the dog sits on the tucker box,
Nine miles from Gundagai.

But that’s all past and dead and gone,
And I’ve sold the team for meat,
And perhaps some day where I was bogged
There’ll be an asphalt street.
The dog — ah! well he got a bait,
And thought he’d like to die,
So I buried him — in the tucker box,
Nine miles from Gundagai.




Source:
Jack Moses, Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse, Sydney: Austral Publishing Co., 1923, pages 26-27 (the related picture is on p. 26)

Editor’s notes:
bait = poison bait, such as that laid out for foxes

tucker = food

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