Goats, Dogs and an Emu.

Sitrep 2 from Kururrungku.

I still don’t have the internet set up at the donga, due to technical difficulties, but that should be rectified soon.  I am currently back in Halls Creek on an overnight trip with my football boys.  Wrangling a mob of teenagers is an interesting experience. And that is all I have to say about that.

I am settling in happily in the community.  I am still setting up my home and sorting out my duties. The hours are flexible though occasionally extended, some evening work is required.  I have Sundays and Mondays off.  This weekend is a holiday weekend.Since everyone gets Monday off, I get Tuesday as well.

There is a small lake nearby, lake Stretch, where in less than an hour of relaxing and communing with nature I spotted over ten species of birds.  I have almost as many hanging around the house, including cockatoos, galahs, parakeets, and some I still haven’t learned the names of.  And crows, a sacred bird hereabouts.

I took four goats with me on the last trip down, purchased from Ruby Plains station. There were two for me, and two for Tika in Mulan.  The plan was for a bit of animal husbandry and responsibility work with the kids.  I had not really done a good risk assessment.  Though the goats were happy enough in the yard, and not interested in jumping the fence, their attitude changed when a few aggressive dogs jumped in and harassed them.   They fled into the scrub, fortunately unharmed.   As a result of this debacle, the community have been very supportive and helpful, and the owner of the naughty dogs asked to have them taken away, as they were uncontrollable.  Once this was effected with the help of the rangers, we were soon able to round up the stray goats.  Three are now with Tika, and the fourth, the last to be recaptured, is with me.  She now sits with me and follows me like a dog.  She also tells me if I have visitors, something my new dog does not do.

An unexpected bonus from having the aggro dogs removed was that once they were gone the community’s pet emu, which never previously came to my end of the village, now started dropping by. Once she found I was an easy touch for a few tidbits, she started coming regularly. She likes dog food.  I just happen to have adopted a young bitch, and have some on hand. The dog was actually one of the naughty ones, but we decided she was just easily led, and pardoned her. Her owner gave her to me happily.  She is quite docile and seems content to be with me.

I have not named my two new pets yet. The community girls suggested the goat should be called Sally, which seems reasonable and I was considering naming the dog Bann Sidhe (banshee) which means faery woman in Gaelic – she is small and slight – but it seems this sounds too similar to “brother in law” in local language. So I shall think again.

So here I am with pets and a couple of dozen new children to play with.  And getting paid for it!  I shall not be posting pictures of my children because they are not really mine, but here are some photos of my new animal friends.





Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

4 thoughts on “Goats, Dogs and an Emu.”

  1. Hello Alan
    I’m quite envious of your new situation, it all seems to be falling in place. Your new dog looks lovely. Do I detect a smattering of dingo? I had pet goats for years, they were Angora’s and I loved them. Two were called Victa and Scott Bonnar. Considering you don’t have lawn to keep mown perhaps you could call yours Bosch, as in whipper snipper and hedge trimmer.

    My Noongar teenage students at TAFE back in the day were rap mad. (You know? rap with the silent c). Anyway, you are probably already onto it, but my kids natural talent astonished me and I would have loved to have been able to encourage it. I tried to get it taught as a course, but they offered classical instruments instead. If your kids are equally as talented it could be something to consider harnessing.


    1. With you on the rap, Julie. We have a deal: their music for half a trip, mine the other half, and I control the volume. At the youth centre I will do the same once it is cleaned up and open. I do have a lawn of sorts, but once I have a chicken run and garden established there will be just room for a couple of goats, I hope.


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